On three consecutive Saturdays in March, the inaugural Jesuit Global Activism Leadership Summit brought together 84 students and 40 faculty from 19 Jesuit schools and 12 countries, in a virtual exchange format, to share cultural perspectives, creative solutions to global issues, and a passion for our common Ignatian tradition.
The summit began with keynote speeches by Catharine Steffens, JSN Director of Global Partnerships and Initiatives, and Dustin Liu, UN Youth Ambassador, as well as personal insights on the dangers of cultural biases from Eugenia Sanguinetti of Colegio Del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a short break, students and faculty spent the remainder of the day getting to know each other in their small groups by sharing symbols and stories of their diverse cultures. Day 2 of the summit was filled with growth and learning as expert speakers on the three UN SDG's (Sustainable Development Goals) which the summit focused on (#2-Zero Hunger, #5-Gender Equality, and #7-Clean and Affordable Energy) enlightened participants with their insights. Equipped with this new knowledge, students then spent the rest of the day in their groups developing a plan of action to address their chosen SDG while faculty gathered to share their stories and professional experiences. The final day of the summit opened with the Prayer of Generosity in all the languages of the summit, and the rest of the day was devoted to each group's presentation of their amazing, innovative projects (Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D). After all groups finished, everyone gathered for some final thoughts, praise, and celebration of their great work.
With the success of this initial summit, ambitious plans are already in development for an expanded summit in summer, 2022 which would be both in-person as well as virtual. For further information or any questions contact Robert Chura, Director of Global Education at St. Louis U. High.