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.
- Mike Allison is Professor and Chair of Political Science and Coordinator of The Ellacuría Initiative at The University of Scranton. His teaching and research interests include the comparative study of civil war and civil war resolution, particularly as it relates to the transition of former revolutionary groups into political parties. He has been traveling to Central America for the last two decades and more recently to Nogales, Arizona, along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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
- Kristen Lionetti is the Policy Director of the Jesuit Conference's Office of Justice and Ecology, where she focuses on human rights concerns in Central America and migration. She has worked with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), Catholic Relief Services in El Salvador, and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and also served as a Jesuit Volunteer in Managua, Nicaragua. She holds degrees from the University of Puget Sound and The Catholic University of America.
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.
- Kevin Tuerff is a social entrepreneur, author and speaker. His experience as an American 9/11 refugee in Gander, Newfoundland opened his eyes to the global migrant and refugee crisis. His true story is one of those featured in the smash hit musical Come From Away. Kevin wrote the book “Channel of Peace: Stranded in Gander on 9/11.”
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.
- Dr. James P. O’Sullivan is an assistant professor of social ethics and is a member of the advisory boards for the Faith Justice Institute and the Institute for Clinical Bioethics. O’Sullivan holds a B.A. in history and philosophy from the Honors College of the University of Missouri, an M.T.S. in systematic and moral theology from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and a Ph.D. in theological and philosophical ethics from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Boston College. After completing his undergraduate degree, he served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, working at the AIDS Interfaith Residence Services in Baltimore, Maryland. Subsequently, he was the director of Adult Education for the Even Start Family Literacy Program, operated through the Swope Corridor Renaissance in Kansas City, Missouri. His areas of scholarly expertise include social and economic justice, human rights, human development, and the relationship between Catholic Social Thought and secular political and moral philosophy.
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.
- Christopher Rice is an assistant professor of philosophy at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. He received his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and has research interests in ethics, human well-being, and environmental ethics. He is also the proud brother of a religion teacher at St. Peter’s Prep High School.
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.
- Lorie Heinrich is Deputy Director of the Newark Asylum Office.
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.
- Ms. Erin Stark has been on the Math Faculty at St. Peter’s Prep for 12 years. Mr. William Reese has been a librarian at Prep for 4 years.
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.
- Ms. Rosalie Romano is the chair of the Modern Languages department and has worked at Prep for 16 years. Ms. Aymee Torres has worked at Prep for 9 years, Mr. Salvatore Veniero has worked at Prep for 6 years, and Mr. Remi Pastorek has worked at Prep for 2 years.
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.
- Mr. Tom Comey is the chair of the Science Department, and Ms. Catie Eppler is the assistant chair. Ms. Carmela Schlitzer teaches AP Environmental Science. All three have worked at Prep for 7 years.
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.
- Mr. Anthony Keating has taught history at Prep for 13 years.
1K: VOX Arrupe Performance
By Prep VOX
Members of Prep VOX will explore this year theme of refugees through the lens of music.
- Founded in 2009, Vox is the official vocal group of Saint Peter's Preparatory School. It is both an elective course and a student activity and the ensemble is comprised of some of the most passionate musicians at Saint Peter's Prep. Since its inception,Vox has performed at numerous concerts around Northern New Jersey, helping communities to raise money for worthy causes. The choir has also participated in regional and international choral competitions and in 2012 brought home a silver from the 7th World Choir Games. Prep Vox was envisioned to be a choir that celebrates vocal music of all shapes and sizes.
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?
- Ashley McKinless is an associate editor at America Media, where she has worked since September 2013. America magazine is published by the Jesuits of the United States and Canada and has been in circulation since 1909. Today, America is a multi-platform media ministry, which produces articles, videos, podcasts, books and more about faith, politics and culture. Ms. McKinless edits the magazine's faith section and is one of the hosts of Jesuitical, a podcast for young (and young at heart) Catholics.
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.
- The Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative is a nationwide AmeriCorps program that was established in 2015 to assist with the integration and community engagement of refugees. The CWS Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative expands the agency’s and the local communities’ ability to support refugees by placing an AmeriCorps member to administer the Preferred Communities Intensive Community Orientation (PC-ICO) program. The PC-ICO program supports refugee integration by enhancing mutual understanding between refugees and their new U.S. communities through intensive community orientation, an in-depth, interactive, location specific education program focused on the areas of housing and health to better support refugees in reaching long-term integration and self-sufficiency.
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.
- Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. The IRC is the leading resettlement agency in New Jersey, welcoming over 70% of refugees arriving to the state. Through resettlement, economic empowerment, education and learning and immigration services, IRC in NJ serves nearly 1,000 refugees and other immigrants annually.
- Alison Millan has worked in the field of immigrant and refugee services in New York and New Jersey for 12 years. She joined the International Rescue Committee in 2012, where she oversees resettlement services for nearly 1,000 refugees and immigrants in northern New Jersey each year. Prior to joining the IRC, Alison served as Director of Immigrant Services at a community-based settlement house in Queens, New York. Alison has been honored as an Outstanding Human Rights Activist by Kean University’s Human Rights Institute and received a Literacy Recognition Award from the Literacy Assistance Center in New York for her work in the field of adult literacy. She graduated from Dickinson College with degrees in Anthropology and Women's Studies. She is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French and has studied and worked abroad in France, Cameroon, China, Cuba and Spain.
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.
- Mr. James DeAngelo is Prep’s principal, and has worked here for 28 years. Before becoming principal, Mr. DeAngelo taught German.
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.
- Michael McLean is a co-founder of the Jersey City Vigil for Refugees and a Catholic educator. A weekly vigil to call attention to the global refugee crisis 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. Facilitating friendships between his American high school students and their Syrian counterparts, and building intimate relationships with survivors of war has led him to a deep understanding: Accompaniment is a profound expression of solidarity and faith.
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.
- Rachael is in her second year with Soccer Without Borders Boston. SWB uses soccer as a vehicle to support healthy youth development for newcomers across the United States. She coaches the 4th and 5th grades boys and girls and her passion team, high school girls. Rachael uses her own love of soccer combined with her background in international service work and public health to cultivate a safe space for SWB participants to learn their athletic, professional, and personal strengths, and grow into confident young women and men. As the Ambassador Coordinator, Rachael provides fundraising guidance and non-profit experience to people throughout New England who want to harness their own communities' strengths to support Soccer Without Borders and make possible SWBs vision for a healthier, safer and more inclusive world.
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.
- Fr. Ken Gavin, SJ, is the superior of the Carroll Street Jesuit Community in Brooklyn, NY. From 2003-2010 he served as the Regional Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service USA and from 2011-2017 he worked at the JRS International Office as the Assistant International Director. During his time with JRS USA, Fr Gavin travelled widely to accompany refugees and bring back their stories and needs to the country. He worked to advance advocacy outreach on international issues including increasing US State Department assistance to Colombian refugees, advocating for the resettlement of Bhutanese refugees, and flagging protection concerns of the Tamil people across Sri Lanka. He has received the Grace Kobbe Tevis Award for Extraordinary Service from JRS.
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!
- Ms. Singleton is Prep’s Director of Faculty Formation. This is Ms. Singleton's 10th year at Prep and 34th year in Education.
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.
- Interfaith-RISE is an affiliate site of the US Committee for Refugees & Immigrants, USCRI. Interfaith-RISE is committed to resettling refugees in central NJ, assisting asylum seekers before and after release from Elizabeth Detention Center, and supporting local faith and civic groups as they advocate for and work with refugees in their communities. Interfaith-RISE assists with housing, ESL, social services, education, medical assistance, mental health services, transportation, and supportive community integration as families and individuals journey towards self-sufficiency and independence. Interfaith-RISE is a program of the Reformed Church of Highland Park Affordable Housing Corporation, a non-profit organization that provides supportive housing to low-income individuals with special needs.
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.
- Bethany J. Welch, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Aquinas Center and identifies as a practitioner/scholar, meaning she brings the research framework from academia into her work in urban neighborhoods. Her research on the Catholic Church and urban revitalization prompted Philadelphia’s St. Thomas Aquinas parish to invite her to help them repurpose a former convent to create a space that builds unity in diversity, supports learning, and inspires thoughtful action. In 2014, Dr. Welch was recognized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award for how her work addresses poverty and injustice. She recently co-authored a book on the unique collaborative research undertaken by the Aquinas community and students at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Welch is an adjunct faculty member in the Religious Studies department at Cabrini University. She has a PhD from the University of Delaware, MS from the University of Rochester, and BS from Roberts Wesleyan College.
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.
- Giulia McPherson is the Director of Advocacy and Operations at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. She develops and promotes policy positions related to refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons; leads a community engagement program to educate and mobilize advocates; and oversees JRS’s institutional operations. Prior to joining JRS in 2015, Giulia was with CARE USA for 11 years, most recently as Director of Citizen Advocacy. Previously, she worked in Italy and Peru for the Italian NGO CESVI as well as the Nonprofit Sector & Philanthropy Program at The Aspen Institute. Giulia has a Bachelors in Political Science from Villanova University and a Masters in International Development Studies from The George Washington University. She serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Educate2Envision International and is an appointed Commissioner on the Montgomery County (MD) Commission for Women.
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.
- Anna Lijphart is co-founder and Executive Director of Oasis Legal Services, a non-profit organization in Oakland, CA, that focuses on legal immigration services for LGBTQIA+ immigrants. Oasis Legal Services primarily provides asylum and follow-up services such as residency, citizenship and family petitions. Oasis is one of the biggest asylum service providers in the country. Its goals are to meet the demand for LGBTQIA+ asylum services, to address the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers, to advocate for improved immigration laws and to create a space where LGBTQIA+ immigrants feel safe, loved, and celebrated. Anna Lijphart is a Department of Justice fully accredited representative, which means she can represent Oasis clients in front of US Citizenship & Immigration Services and in Immigration Court, the same way a lawyer can. She has represented over 150 asylum seekers at their asylum hearings.
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!
- Nick Napolitano has worked for the East coast Jesuit provinces for 6 years, supporting Jesuit middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities and parishes in faith-justice work. Nick is a graduate of Fordham University and lives in the Bronx with his wife and two daughters. He serves on the board of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
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.
- Allison O’Brien is a staff attorney for the Children’s Representation Project (CRP) of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center. Before joining ImmDef, she worked at Immigration Center for Women and Children (“ICWC”) representing victims of domestic violence in their U-Visa application. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Ali was a post-graduate fellow for the Pro Bono & Volunteer Unit at the New York Legal Assistance Group (“NYLAG”), and was a research associate for the Jesuit Massacre Documentation Project. Before law school, Ali worked as a middle school English teach and admission coordinator at an international school in Santiago, Chile. Ali received her B.A. in Public Policy and Spanish from Trinity College and earned her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
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.
- Caitlin Wright is a recent graduate of Creighton University and currently serves as a Jesuit Volunteer at Catholic Migration Services in Brooklyn, NY. While studying English, Spanish, and Legal Studies at Creighton, Caitlin developed a passion for the Jesuit value of a "faith that does justice". As a Jesuit Volunteer, Caitlin serves the immigrant population of New York in applying for citizenship.
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.
- Alexis Carra is an Advocate for the Public Policy Office of the Archdiocese of New York. She has her BA in Philosophy, MA in Ethics, and is currently pursuing her JD at Fordham Law School. She focuses on hot-button social and political issues, including abortion, human trafficking, assisted suicide, immigration reform, and gender ideology. She is especially committing to educating and empowering Catholics to put their faith in action, whether in be in their homes, communities, or the public square.
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.
- Katia Amaya Salinas is a Supervising Social Worker for the Children & Family Services Program of Sanctuary for Families. Sanctuary for Families is New York’s leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence. Every year, we empower thousands of adults and children to move from fear and abuse to safety and stability, transforming lives through a range of comprehensive services and advocacy.
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.
- Danielle Corea is a Relationship Manager for the Northeast Mid-Atlantic region of Catholic Relief Services.
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.
- Fernando, Joe, Ryan, and Dan are the student members of the Arrupe 2018 Planning Committee, and members of CMT’s Social Justice Team. They have had an integral role in planning and executing all of this week’s events!