REGIS JESUIT PARITICIPATES IN FIRST-EVER JESUIT GLOBAL ACTIVISM SUMMIT
Regis Jesuit was one of five Jesuit high schools from the United States chosen to participate in the inaugural Jesuit Student Global Activism Leadership Summit. Held virtually over the course of three consecutive Saturdays in March, our five representatives—Abigail Donovan ‘23, Jasline Becerra ‘24, Sabrina Vizurraga ‘22, Michele Chinn ’22 and Wyatt Warr ’22—collaborated with students from 19 Jesuit schools in13 different countries, including Argentina, India, Ethiopia, Poland, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Colombia, Russia and Canada, on projects focused on several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with the aim to demonstrate and promote the Jesuit Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs). The ultimate goal of the summit centered around developing true Global Competence among the participants. Read more for a reflection by Michele Chin ’22 about her experience
Learning to be a Jesuit-inspired Activist By Michele Chinn ‘22
The Jesuit Global Activism Summit was an opportunity for Jesuit high school students around the world to gather virtually, learn about issues that affect us all globally and come up with solutions. The topics for the issues we focused on came from three of the United Nation’s 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs): gender equality, affordable and clean energy and zero hunger.
For three consecutive Saturdays in March, we met on Zoom to discuss how these three topics apply to all our diverse communities. The more than 100 student participants were split into three sections based on the SDG on which we chose to focus. Within those three sections, we were divided into smaller groups of five or six students with the same SDG that became our group for the remainder of the Saturdays. At each session, a UN leader joined us to give us more in-depth information on the SDG that we then took to our small group for student-led discussions about how to address the issue on a smaller scale in our own communities.
I focused on the SDG of gender equality, and my small group consisted of male and female students from Jesuit schools in India, Poland, France, Chile and Columbia. Learning new information and gaining perspective from students in these other countries was an amazing experience of encounter as we shared how working to the goal of gender equality could benefit each of us individually. I was able to befriend people from all over the world while also collaborating with them on solutions for an issue that means a lot to me personally. In our small group, we had no trouble sharing great ideas, but we did struggle focus in and narrow them down to a common goal. While communication was one of our strong points, typical teenage procrastination proved to be somewhat of an obstacle. Even though we found it challenging to get things done within the hour session we had to work with each week, we got along very well and collaborated intensely. The final Saturday, we presented our solutions to other SDG groups and received constructive criticism on our approach to the goal.
What gender equality means to me could mean something entirely different for someone who lives in France—it is such a big goal and trying to solve such a big problem in a short timeframe was difficult. This experience taught me so much about the importance of first steps and exposing yourself to a global-scale problem. There are smaller steps that we can all take to achieve gender equality globally. This opportunity offered me so much more knowledge about gender equality and how I can advocate and inform others about the problem. I am thrilled that I could participate in this experience as it opened a whole new world of curiosity and knowledge. When I think of advocacy now, I realize that I must consider how the issue at hand can relate to those around the world.
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