The student leadership team for the Diversity & Inclusion Committee — Kaira Mack, Anna Rago, Allie Bielli, and Siani Ruley — attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C. on the weekend of November 11. The conference is the largest Catholic social justice conference for high school and college students in the U.S.
Attendees listened to inspirational speakers, participated in large and small breakout sessions, and met new friends from all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Portugal, and Brazil.
The Villa Maria students also visited the office of Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, where they advocated for specific legislation for just immigration policies. There they also met Houlahan’s office intern and Villa alumna Jenna Brignola ’15.
Working with representatives of Homeboy Industries, conference participants also had the opportunity to screen print bandanas with a rose design, a symbol of the Jesuit and lay martyrs of El Salvador. Homeboy Industries is the largest gang intervention program in the U.S. and it is run by a Jesuit, Father Greg Boyle. Some of the group’s members spoke at the conference. Students who take Literature of Social Justice at Villa Maria read the book Tattoos On The Heart by Father Greg Boyle about Homeboy Industries.