IAJU 2022 Assembly: Task Force on Global Citizenship

What does it mean to be a global citizen?

During the 2021-22 academic year, 31 students from 19 universities in 16 countries explored this question through the IAJU Global Citizenship Fellows Program.

On the first day of the 2022 IAJU Assembly, Thomas Banchoff (Co-Chair of the Task Force on Global Citizenship) described the IAJU Global Citizenship Fellows Program as an innovative way to facilitate “students talking to each other and engaging with [their Jesuit universities] in an extended conversation about how we can embed themes of global citizenship in our curricula.”

Fellows participated in Zoom dialogues, shared lectures, and readings on the following topics:

  • The Idea and Practice of Global Citizenship
  • Transnational Movements, Peace, and Global Governance
  • Poverty, Inequality, and Solidarity in Action
  • The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice
  • Global Citizenship and Care for Our Common Home
  • Global Citizenship and the Culture of Encounter

Banchoff was joined by four of the twenty-three alumni of the program who are attending the Assembly this week. The following quotes from their remarks are testimonies to the program’s transformative impact:

“This program forms us as leaders who are able to cooperate and bring forth our diversity for the common good. Global citizenship is not only about confronting global problems and issues; rather, it is about creating global possibilities, made possible only through global solidarity.” - Tristan Joseph Alcantara, Ateneo de Manila (Philippines)

“The Global Citizenship Fellows Program is a good way to start to embrace each other’s differences among country, race, and gender... We expand our perspectives [and] grow as global citizens who will build a culture of encounter.” - Helena Faustina Trisunjata, Sanata Dharma University (Indonesia)

“I was meeting other global citizens from thousands of miles away, who had the same eagerness to learn, to share, to grow in mind and spirit, to serve, and to ask questions that are certainly not easy to answer. When this happens, not only is your heart filled with the possibility of growing and believing in a better future, but it also pushes you to go forward and to continue working for the betterment of our society.” - Elena Pérez Velasco, Universidad Loyola Andalucía (Spain)

“Find what causes your soul to be set on fire and inspires you to become the best, most selfless version of yourself. The world needs more people who embody the idea of global citizenship. Our Heavenly Father has only blessed us with the gift of life for a short time, so I think that it is best spent standing up for the less fortunate, working toward solving global issues, and truly becoming selfless Men and Women for Others.” - Suamein Palacio, St. John’s College (Belize)

Discernment on Next Steps

After a successful pilot, the Task Force on Global Citizenship is reflecting on the next steps for the program. Two potential options have been proposed:

  1. Repeat the program annually, with an in-person capstone meeting.
  2. Create a 6-hour Global Citizenship online module that colleagues from the nearly 200 institutions of Jesuit higher education can integrate into their classrooms.

Further details on each proposal can be found on the Task Force on Global Citizenship website. To learn more about the IAJU Global Citizenship Fellows Program, please click here.

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