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Rev. Fred Kammer speaks on immigration, social justice in Washington, D.C.

November 16, 2012

Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J., J.D., director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans gave the keynote address on immigration at a national teach-in shedding light on social justice issues in Washington, D.C., Nov. 17. The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is a national conference sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network and focuses on immigration, militarization, foreign policy, fair trade and many other social justice issues in the spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

More than 1,000 attendees—including Loyola University New Orleans students—gathered at the teach-in. Attendees represent 28 Jesuit universities, more than 25 Jesuit high schools, Jesuit parishes, Jesuit volunteer communities, and many other Catholic institutions and organizations.

Kammer also spoke at two additional workshops: one on the challenges to the future of Catholic social thought and another on spirituality for those who work with the poor.

Part of the movement that inspired the teach-in includes an annual peaceful protest outside Fort Benning Army Base in Columbus, Ga. The protest is held to commemorate the anniversary of the 1989 assassination in El Salvador of six Jesuit priests who were working on social justice issues. Fort Benning’s Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly the School of the Americas, is known for training the soldiers who killed the priests.

This year, more than 15 Loyola students participated in the protest alongside tens of thousands of others who will march to the gates of the base Nov. 16-18. The crowd will hold white crosses with the names of victims who were murdered or disappeared in Latin America. At the end of the rally, attendees place the crosses in the base’s fence for a visual representation of the many victims.

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