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Area immigrant teens share migration tales with high school students

Loyola press release - January 22, 2015

Why have so many families and children made the treacherous journey from Central America north to the U.S.? Loyola University New Orleans students, as well as local Catholic high school students, will learn more about this phenomenon and the Church's teachings on migration for young Catholics at a Catholic Teach-In to be held on Thursday, Feb. 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Audubon Room of the Danna Student Center. The event will invite local young immigrant high school students to share their experiences, including why they and their families fled, their migration journeys and the challenges they are facing in the U.S., to a designated group of local Catholic high school students. Loyola students will act as moderators of the group discussion. It is not open to the public, but media are welcome to attend.

The Teach-In is being sponsored by Loyola's Jesuit Social Research Institute, the Congress of Day Laborers, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Loyola Immigration Advocates, the Archdiocese of New Orleans Office of Racial Harmony and Loyola's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. A centerpiece of the event will be a brief presentation on the Church's teachings on migration by the Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J., J.D., executive director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute, and a leading scholar and author on the social teachings of the Catholic Church.

According to Susan M. Weishar, Ph.D., migration specialist in the Jesuit Social Research Institute, the goals of the event are to educate local Catholic students about the human element of migration, especially how young people their own age have struggled with their migration journeys and undocumented status, and to build a broader network of Catholics interested in and willing to advocate for immigrant justice. Organizers also hope to introduce local immigrant teens to a university setting, increasing their understanding of and motivation to attend college after high school graduation.

Media interested in attending may contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5888.