Br. Ken Homan, SJ '08
JESUIT BROTHER, JESUITS USA MIDWEST PROVINCE
ORGANIZER, KALMANOVITZ INITIATIVE FOR LABOR & THE WORKING POOR
PHD CANDIDATE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
Industry – LABOR AND MINISTRY
EDUCATION – MTS, THEOLOGY, BOSTON COLLEGE; MA, HISTORY, BA, HISTORY AND BA, THEOLOGY, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY
Describe what you're working on and/or what you're most proud to have accomplished.
I am currently working on my doctorate in US history, examining at the relationship between Jesuits and workers (both enslaved and free) in St. Louis. I study how Catholic and class identities mingled, as well as how workers kept the Church accountable in the work for economic and racial justice. I additionally have an assistantship through the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. My proudest work has been starting a new faith-and-labor nonprofit that trains and facilitates religious leaders for worker and community organizing. The group has grown from a dozen faith leaders to over 200 clergy, rabbis, imams, and more who work for justice.
You know we have to ask it. Do you have a favorite SLUH memory or teacher?
My most potent memory was attending the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. It was here--celebrating the Martyrs of El Salvador--that I first heard the call to Jesuit life. Participating in the Mass there brought a whole new meaning to the Eucharist and a faith that does justice.
What topic are you most excited about in your industry?
I'm most excited by democratic union movements, leading to incredible organizing efforts and stronger, worker-driven unions. They're also driving important reform efforts.
What does the future of your industry look like? What else would you like to accomplish?
There's an incredible boom in the number of young people organizing, particularly at colleges & universities. I would like to strive for every Jesuit institution to have strong worker representation
What advice would you give to current students?
Dream differently. There's a great temptation to follow predetermined or pre-imagined paths. Be bold and creative in responding to the needs of your communities and the world.
Editor's Note: Br. Homan's profile in the SLUH Magazine mistakenly indicated he was a member of the Central and Southern Province. We regret the error.