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Ignatian Teach-In on Mass Incarceration to be Held at Loyola

By Loyola University on Fri, 10/11/2019 - 09:02

(New Orleans, La. – Oct. 11, 2019) Leading advocacy organizations from around the area, including the university’s own Jesuit Social Research Institute, will host an Ignatian Teach-In on Mass Incarceration at Loyola University New Orleans in October.  Rooted in Jesuit values and driven by Catholic social teaching, the event is an opportunity for Loyola students to learn more about the impacts of mass incarceration.

The Teach-In is sponsored by JSRI, a research and advocacy center on campus; area nonprofit Women Determined; the Cornerstone Builders of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans; and the Loyola University Community Action Program (LUCAP), one of the oldest student volunteer groups in America, as well as the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Women’s Resource Center, and Department of Criminology and Justice at Loyola.

The Teach-In runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in the Audubon Room of the Danna Student Center on Loyola’s main campus, 6363 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, La. 70118. Media are welcome to attend.
The event has three major aims:
•    To provide an opportunity for Loyola students to listen and learn about the incarceration and re-entry experiences of local residents in small listening groups;
•    To explore how Ignatian values and teachings can guide understanding on how to reform our nation’s broken criminal justice system, and 
•    To discern how one is being called to respond to our national, state, and local mass incarceration crises.

“A major goal of the October 21 Ignatian Teach-In on Mass Incarceration is for Loyola students to listen and learn directly from formerly incarcerated women and men in small listening circles about the impact that mass incarceration policies have had on their lives and the lives of their family members,” said Susan Weishar, JSRI migration specialist. “We will explore how Ignatian values and Catholic Social Teaching can guide our understanding on how to further advance reform of our state’s criminal justice system.”

In the past, student participants have commented that the Teach-In “opened their eyes” to unjust and racially biased policies and systems that have led to hyper-incarceration, Weishar said.

“As a social justice university committed to developing women and men for and with others, we realize how critically important it is for our students to hear directly from those most impacted by the harsh and unjust criminal justice policies that have led to our state’s hyper-incarceration crisis — persons who have served time in our state’s vast prison system,” Weishar said.
“As we come together to hear the stories of formerly incarcerated men and women from Women Determined and Cornerstone Builders and to reflect on what our faith teaches about mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation, we will pray for the open hearts and open minds needed to end public policies that have led to the scandal of hyper-incarceration in our state and nation.”