In light of the ongoing, worldwide refugee and immigration crisis, and Pope Francis’ call to global action in solidarity with refugees and immigrants, the SJU Refugee & Immigrant Working Group is committed to educating our campus community about the urgency of the global refugee crisis, supporting local efforts to serve the needs of refugee and immigrant families, and building a community of prayer and advocacy on behalf of refugees and immigrants.
We are inspired by SJU’s Jesuit mission and by the biblical command, “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Mk 12:31).
Today, the working group is composed of members from all corners of the university community. The group meets 1-2 times a semester to hear from community partners, share updates about current initiatives, and brainstorm ways to respond to the needs of our global, national, and local communities. Examples of the group’s work include:
- Coordinating donation drives for local resettlement agencies
- Participating in campaigns to advocate for just immigration policies
- Hosting speakers and events on campus related to immigration (i.e. UndocuWeek)
All members of the SJU community (students, staff, faculty) are welcome and encouraged to get involved with the working group!
- Join our email list: stay connected with other members of the group and receive important information/updates. Email co-chair Beth Ford McNamee email@example.com to subscribe to our email list or join via Google Groups using your SJU email address.
- Attend a meeting: held 1-2 times a semester with in-person and virtual options. All are welcome and no previous experience with the group is required to attend. Information about meeting times/dates is dispersed via email list (linked above).
- Follow us on Instagram: @sjurefugees
Below are some additional opportunities specific for SJU Students:
- Participate in the Office of Campus Ministry’s Winter Immersion Program: Rooted in Ignatian values and Catholic Social Teaching, this year-long program allows students to learn about issues related to migration and human dignity as they build relationships with one another and their host communities. Students immerse themselves during the winter break at the U.S.-Mexico border or at one of our international sites.
- Attend the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice: held each fall in Washington D.C., this is an opportunity for students to learn about justice issues with delegations from Jesuits schools, universities, and parishes from all over the country. The experience includes an optional day of advocacy on Capitol Hill with congressional offices.
Information about and links to resources related to migrant and refugee services and advocacy can be found below.
SJU Library Migration Research Guide: online collection of popular and scholarly resources on human migration, immigration, emigration, and refugees
National/Global Service & Advocacy Orgs/Initiatives:
Every Campus A Refuge: Mobilize colleges and universities to host refugees on campus grounds and support them in their resettlement.
Ignatian Solidarity Network: Network, educate, and form advocates for social justice animated by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the witness of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador and their companions.
Jesuit Refugee Services: Seeks to accompany, serve, and advocate the cause of refugees and other forcibly displaced people, that they may heal, learn and determine their own future.
Kino Border Initiative: Binational, inclusive Roman Catholic organization, inspired by the spirituality of the Jesuits and Missionaries of the Eucharist; locally rooted in Ambos Nogales on the Mexico- US border and with a regional approach organization throughout Central America and North America.
Refugee & Migrant Education (RME) Network: Global network of universities, NGOs, and non-profit-organizations collaborating to overcome the pressing needs of refugees and migrants, promote a lacking awareness of the crisis upon them, and establish interdisciplinary solutions to the complex problem of refugee and migrant education.
USCCB Department of Migration and Refugee Services: Fulfills the commitment of the U.S. Catholic bishops to protect the life and dignity of the human person. We serve and advocate for refugees, asylees, migrants, unaccompanied children, and victims of human trafficking.
Welcome Circles (USCCB): The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Department of Migration and Refugee Services, together with dioceses across the country, is helping to welcome displaced families to the United States through Welcome Circles.
Welcome Corps: New service opportunity for Americans to welcome refugees seeking freedom and safety and, in turn, make a difference in their own communities.
Local Philadelphia Service & Advocacy Orgs/Initiatives:
African Family Health Organization (AFAHO): Provide culturally sensitive health, human and educational services to African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees in greater Philadelphia.
Catholic Social Services Philadelphia (CSS): Changing lives with faith-filled compassion. Engaging communities to uplift those in need. Fostering independence, opportunity, and dignity.
HIAS Pennsylvania: Supports low-income immigrants of all backgrounds as they build new lives in our community. Through immigration legal services and an array of social services, work to address their needs, defend their rights, and advocate for their equitable inclusion in American society.
JUNTOS: Community-led, Latinx immigrant organization in South Philadelphia fighting for our human rights as workers, parents, youth, and immigrants.
Nationalities Services Center: Transforms compassion for immigrants and refugees into action, provides comprehensive services and supports, and helps build inclusive communities where we can all thrive.
Puentes de Salud: 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that promotes the health and wellness of Philadelphia’s rapidly growing Latinx immigrant population through high-quality health care, innovative educational programs, and community building.
Sisters of Saint Joseph Welcome Center: Offers opportunities that enable immigrants and others to improve the quality of their lives through access to education, support services and programs leading to self-sufficiency. This neighborhood center in urban Philadelphia extends hospitality, linking newcomers and persons with resources for the enrichment of both.
Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition (SEAMAAC): Direct services, education, community, and advocacy in Philadelphia.
VietLead: Grassroots community organization in Philadelphia and South Jersey that is creating a vision and strategy for community self-determination, social justice, and cultural resilience.