Ignatian Family Teach-in
Each fall UDM students travel to gather with thousands of others at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, to honor the life of the Jesuit and other Salvadoran Martyrs and respond to the justice issues of our day. Come join this three-day learning experience to dialogue and strategize about ways to confront issues of injustice, poverty, and oppression both nationally and internationally.
Questions about IFTJ? Need more information? Want to sign up for this year's trip? Please contact the University Ministry office.
NOTE: UDM students and affiliates must register through UDM's University Ministry office, NOT directly through the IFTJ national website.
Photo courtesy of Ignatian Solidarity Network
The theme for this year's Teach-In will be: "Imagination Reform: Moving Beyond the Margins". For a list of keynote speakers, please click here.
The Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice (IFTJ) is an educational event that is meant to inform and energize people around issues of social justice. The gathering is sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) of Jesuit schools, universities and parishes. Every year, representatives from different Jesuit institutions across the country meet for this event featuring keynote speakers, breakout sessions and prayer. IFTJ was formerly held outside the School of the Americas in Georgia and was held in conjunction with the SOA vigil/protest. Since 2010, IFTJ has been held at Georgetown University Hotel and Conference center in Washington, D.C. It is this new location that allows members of the Ignatian Solidarity Network to participate in an advocacy day on Capitol Hill. The advocacy day involves meeting with respective Congress and Senate members to learn more about their positions on social justice issues and to inform them about our positions as citizens and members of ISN.
Photo taken by Kelly Miguens
The School of the Americas (SOA) was founded in Panama in 1946 as a US Army training school for Latin American military personnel. The school provides training in counter-insurgency, military intelligence, infantry tactics, anti-narcotics operations, and commando operations. Based on local reaction, the SOA was removed from Panama in 1984 and resumed its operations at a new training facility at Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA. In response to repeated efforts to close the school in the US and under pressure to perform a congressional investigation, legislation was passed to close the SOA in January of 2001. During the same legislative process, however, opponents of closing the SOA preserved the mandate of the School in the naming and “opening” of a new institution called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). The Institute maintains the same functions as the SOA with a slightly adapted structure of oversight within the Department of Defense. In recent years, legislation has strongly resurfaced to defund the SOA/WHINSEC and sponsor an investigation that would expose the institution's past and current deeds.
- SOA/WHINSEC graduates are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America.
- SOA/WHINSEC graduates include notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia, as well as Peruvian spy chief under President Fujimori, Vladimiro Montesinos.
- Among the many human rights abuses perpetuated by SOA/WHINSEC graduates in countries throughout Latin America, the most commonly cited and high profile cases come from El Salvador, where SOA graduates were involved in the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero; the killings of 4 North American churchwomen; the massacre of 900 civilians in El Mozote; and the murder of 6 Jesuit priests and two Salvadoran laywomen at the Universidad Centro Americana (UCA), a Jesuit University in El Salvador, on November 16, 1989.
As a Catholic university, we will join our prayer of peace with those of others. We will hope, at the very least, for a lessening of the abuse of human rights. We will hope beyond hope for a peaceful and loving communion with each other and God.
For information on this trip please email or call the University Ministry office at email@example.com or 313-993-1560.(back to top)