Arrupe Week 2018: Refugee Breakout Sessions


1A: How US Foreign Policy Helped Create Today's Central American Crisis

By Dr. Mike Allison, University of Scranton

Dr. Allison will discuss (1) the conditions in Central America that are causing thousands of Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Guatemalans to flee their homes for the relative safety of the United States; (2) the perilous journey through Mexico taken by many migrants and asylum seekers; and (3) the difficulties that asylum seekers have pursuing their cases in the United States.

1B: The Refugee Crisis in Our Own Backyard: Forced Displacement from Central America

By Kristen Lionetti, Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology

Each year between 200,000 and 400,000 individuals flee the “Northern Triangle” countries of Central America – El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala – seeking survival and well-being.  This session will explore the factors that drive them to flee,  the experience of those affected, the U.S. policies that impact their situations, and ways you can respond

1C: Ripple Effects of Compassion: A Come from Away Story

By Kevin Tuerff, Author & Speaker

Kevin Tuerff was flying into New York City on September 11, 2001, when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. His flight was rerouted to Gander, Newfoundland, where he and thousands of other refugees were stranded. In this session he will share his experience, and how the hospitality of the people of Gander inspired him to become an advocate for refugees.

1D: Economic and Environmental Forced Migration

By Dr. James P. O'Sullivan, St. Joseph’s University

Dr. O’Sullivan will help participants to understand the factors that lead to economic and environmental forced migration, which compels people to leave their homes in order to survive. Through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, he will discuss how people of faith can respond to this crisis.

1E: Environmental Refugees: Who Should Pay to Help?

By Dr. Christopher Rice, Lynn University

Over the coming decades, entire island nations may need to be relocated due to rising sea levels caused by climate change. This raises the question of how best to help these groups. Which countries should welcome them? And who should pay for their relocation? This presentation will consider a few possible answers: Should the migrants themselves pay? Or nearby countries? Or the world’s richest countries? Or maybe the countries that contributed most to climate change, either presently, or in the past? The session will consider the pros and cons of these different options, including their political feasibility and their relation to social justice.

1F: Seeking Asylum in Newark

By Lorie Heinrich, P ‘14, ‘16, ‘21

Lorie Heinrich will talk about the work of the local Asylum Office, a division of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and how they work with people seeking asylum in the United States. This session will offer a look into the US government’s process for granting asylum and the types of cases that they encounter.

1G: Refugee Trends Using UN Data

By Ms. Erin Stark, Math Faculty SPP

This session will provide a picture of current trends in refugee movement. The presenters will focus on where to find data and how to interpret it. Often examining research and data will lead to further questions on the same subject, that the presenters will debrief about at the end of the session.

1H: Refugees From Different Cultural Perspectives: Yesterday and Today

By Mr. Salvatore Veniero, Ms. Rosalie Romano, Ms. Aymee Torres, and Mr. Remi Pastorek, Modern Languages Faculty

Members of the Modern Languages department will discuss the current refugee situation and the official government responses from some of the countries where their target languages are spoken. They will link this conversation to the historical status of some groups within theses different cultures as displaced peoples that sought protection or opportunity in the US or South America.

1I: Impact of Climate Change on Global Migration

By Ms. Carmela Schlitzer, Ms. Catie Eppler, and Mr. Tom Comey, Science Faculty

In this session, members of the Science faculty will discuss the effect of climate change on global migration, and the rise of “climate refugees” – people forced to flee their homes because of sudden or long-term changes to their local environment.

1J: A History of Refugees

By Mr. Anthony Keating, History Faculty

Mr. Keating will discuss various refugee waves throughout history, and the responses that they met. This session will tie into our physical display in the MSC Lobby, which will highlight different refugee groups who have made their home in the United States.

1K: VOX Arrupe Performance

By Prep VOX

Members of Prep VOX will explore this year theme of refugees through the lens of music.


2A: The Joy of Hospitality

By Ashley McKinless, America Media

Refugees are not a partisan issue. Three years ago, my parents, both Republicans, welcomed a family of Muslim refugees from Afghanistan into their home. They did so not in spite of their conservative and Christian values but because of them. Since then, our two families have remained friends, sharing Afghan feasts and decorating Christmas cookies together. In the process, we all have learned that refugees are not a partisan issue. What lessons might this experience offer in the age of Trump?

2B: Inside the United States Refugee Resettlement Program

By Sarah Zyto, Refugee AmeriCorps Representative (PC-ICO Program), Church World Service

Church World Service, (CWS) was born in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. Seventeen denominations came together to form an agency “to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone.” The mission: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless. CWS has 34 refugee and immigration offices spread across 21 different states. These offices provide services to newly arrived refugees and immigrants, helping them to integrate into local communities, find jobs and learn the necessary skills to support their new life in the United States.

2C: Refugee Resettlement in New Jersey: Community Welcoming and Opportunities for Engagement

By Alison Millan, Resettlement Director, International Rescue Committee in New Jersey

The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. The IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

2D: Welcoming Refugees at Canisius Kolleg, Berlin

By Mr. James DeAngelo, Principal, and members of the Canisius Kolleg community

In response to the influx of refugees into Germany, our Jesuit brothers at Canisius Kolleg in Berlin started up several class sections for refugee children. This session will feature a live Skype call with Canisius Kolleg to learn about their work, facilitated by Mr. DeAngelo, who spent time teaching refugee students at Canisius this summer.

2E: Resettled Refugees in Jersey City: A Call to Service and Accompaniment

By Michael McLean, Jersey City Vigil for Refugees

If you ever thought you lack the power to help victims of the global refugee crisis, think again. Resettled Refugees in Jersey City: A Call to Service and Accompaniment is a story-based call to action led by Michael McLean, co-found of the Jersey City Vigil for Refugees and a Catholic educator. A weekly vigil for refugees led him to years of working with resettled refugees in his own neighborhood. Now, he coordinates a network of volunteers who assist with language learning, housing, food, and legal support. The intimate bonds he has forged with survivors of war has led him to a deep understanding: Accompaniment is a profound expression of solidarity and faith. This workshop could be your first steps toward leaving your comfort zone and transforming your life in ways you never thought possible.

2F: Soccer Without Borders: The Power of Sport for A More Inclusive World

By Rachael Cooper, Soccer WIthout Borders Boston

This activity and discussion based presentation will help students gain a better understanding of what it means to be a refugee, describe the Soccer Without Borders mission as an avenue toward social justice, and engage diverse thoughts and opinions in discovery for how we can create more inclusive communities everywhere.

2G: Serving Refugees with the Jesuit Refugee Service

By Fr. Ken Gavin, SJ, former Regional Director of JRS/USA and Assistant International Director of JRS International

Fr. Ken Gavin, SJ, will talk about his fourteen years accompanying, serving, and advocating for refugees with the Jesuit Refugee Service. He will share stories from his work in both direct service and advocating for refugees on a policy level with the US State Department.

2H: Refugee Teens + Church Community = Welcome to the USA!

By Ms. Boreta Singleton, Director of Faculty Formation

Ms. Singleton will talk about her experience helping to resettle five orphaned teens from the Sudan in the year 2000. She will talk about how a church community came together to help them navigate life in the US – school, daily life, and beyond!

2I: Refugee Resettlement - An Interfaith Experience

By Paola Stevens, LSW  Interfaith-RISE Director

Paola Stevens will introduce participants to Interfaith-RISE, a partnership of churches working to resettle refugees in the New Jersey area. The presentation will focus on what is the process of refugee resettlement, what is an agency role and why an interfaith community is important for the process of supporting refugees and their families.

2J: Radical Hospitality: Welcoming the Immigrant and the Stranger

By Bethany J. Welch, Ph.D. Executive Director of Aquinas Center

In this session, students will learn about how the Aquinas Center, located in Philadelphia, has emerged as a safe, welcoming place where neighbors and visitors can experience radical hospitality, where each person finds a seat at the table, and where beauty and belonging prevail. This intercultural, multilingual community of immigrants, refugees, and long time neighbors come together to work on projects, advocate for social change, and support each other across boundaries that might otherwise separate them. Learn more about how how shared labor, community meals, and Catholic Social Teaching bring people one step closer to realizing the Beloved Community described by Martin Luther King, Jr.


3A: Compassion in Action: Empowering Refugees Around the World

By Giulia McPherson, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

This session will provide an overview of the global refugee crisis as well as the work of Jesuit Refugee Service, which serves refugees and other forcibly displaced persons in 51 countries. Students will also learn ways that they can get involved and speak out on behalf of refugees around the world.

3B: Providing a Safe Haven in the US for LGBTQIA+ Refugees and Asylum Seekers

By Anna Lijphart, Oasis Legal Services

In many parts of the world, LGBTQIA+ people face discrimination, violence, and death because of who they are. Oasis Legal Services works with LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers to legally immigrate to the United States, and begin a new life here, free from fear. Anna Lijphart, co-founder and executive director, will talk about their work, and the experience of LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers around the world.

3C: The Campaign for Hospitality: Animating a Faith That Does Justice for Migrants and Refugees

By Nicholas Napolitano, Assistant for Social Ministries for the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces of the Jesuits

Inspired by Pope Francis, the Campaign for Hospitality is an effort by the Ignatian Solidarity Network to invite Catholics in the US and Canada to get to know people in our countries with recent stories of migration. The goal is to promote reflection on our common human dignity and values to create more welcoming communities and nations. Nick Napolitano will explain the Campaign for Hospitality, and tell you how you can get involved!

3D: Refugee Legal Advocacy

By Allison O’Brien

In this session,Allison O’Brien, an attorney with the Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles, will speak about protecting the legal rights of refugees. In particular, she will focus on the experiences of children  through her work with the Children’s Representation Project.

3E: Could Jesus Become a U.S. Citizen?

By Caitlin Wright, Catholic Migration Services

If Jesus were to migrate to the United States today, would he be welcomed? And if he was successful in his migration, would he be eligible to apply for citizenship? Explore, analyze, and discuss the intricacies of naturalization through the eyes of a Jesuit Volunteer at Catholic Migration Services.

3F: Enacting Change...When You Think You Can’t Make A Difference

By Alexis Carra, Archdiocese of New York

In this session, students will learn about the basic techniques for implementing social change from the Catholic perspective. The discussion will focus on how to be an effective advocate, even if one has limited power, time, resources, and money. The discussion will then conclude on how these techniques can be applied to the current Refugee Crisis.

3G: Sanctuary for Families

By Katia Amaya Salinas, Sanctuary for Families

Sanctuary for Families was one of the first organizations to provide services specifically for children exposed to domestic violence. Katia Amaya Salinas will talk about how the current migration crisis has impacted their work, especially when it comes to reunifying families.

3H: Accompanying Refugees with Catholic Relief Services

By Danielle Corea, Catholic Relief Services

Danielle Corea will talk about the various campaigns that Catholic Relief Services runs to accompany, welcome, and support refugees and migrants. She will also offer many opportunities for Prep students to get more involved, and to make a real difference on a national level.

3I: A Conversation with the Arrupe Student Committee (JUNIORS AND SENIORS ONLY)

By Fernando Cordova, Joseph Mastrodonato, Ryan Ramos, and Daniel Rowe, ‘18

Seniors from the Arrupe Committee will facilitate a discussion about refugees, and what ought to be done. Students will have the opportunity to share ideas, build off of criticism, and find ways to continue this conversation after Arrupe Week ends.