Task Force Presentation 2022
Refugees and other displaced persons face immense barriers to full inclusion in their host communities. Faced with the twin crises of food and housing insecurity, they also live without basic health care, opportunities for education, legal support, and sustaining employment. Many have been victims of trauma and need mental health services. Often host communities know little or nothing about the culture(s) of displaced persons, and they are thus ill-equipped to provide support. What may have begun as a compassionate response to refugees easily devolves into a xenophobic demonization of them as the “other” who are perceived to threaten the host country’s way of life.
What can Jesuit colleges and universities do in response? The Universal Apostolic Preference to “walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice” compels all IAJU members to respond in solidarity, and from the heart of our shared mission. Many IAJU schools have paved the way toward this kind of solidarity through academic programs, hospitality initiatives, service-learning, and focused research, but there is much more to be done. By committing together to solidarity with migrants and refugees and better coordinating our efforts, we can respond more effectively to the needs of our sisters and brothers and extend God’s compassionate hand more faithfully to them.
The IAJU Task Force on Solidarity with Migrants and Refugees was assembled with the objective of helping every institution of Jesuit higher education to make a serious, articulated commitment to the wellbeing of migrants and refugees, in the context of their institution’s local realities and strengths.
Interdisciplinary demonstration projects
The following three Demonstration Projects are by no means exhaustive. Rather, they are meant to inspire creativity on how solidarity can be expressed by Jesuit schools, and how partnership with other Jesuit apostolates can enrich those commitments. The projects include:
A. Partnerships between Jesuit Universities and On-the-ground Apostolates Serving Refugees.
B. Proyecto Hospitalidad – University-Province Partnerships
C. Scholarship as an Expression of Solidarity
Read the description of the projects in the following link.