"Participating in the Kino immersion definitely opened my eyes to the realities migrants face along the border. As someone who crosses the border regularly without scrutiny, I valued the opportunity to understand the challenges of people whose own experiences of the crossing are very different from mine. Speaking with migrants at the Comedor was a particularly powerful experience, and the act of accompanying them at mealtime reaffirmed our shared humanity. In contrast, visiting Project Streamline at the federal courthouse in Tucson was a gut-wrenching acknowledgement of the dehumanization that migrants face once they become entangled in the US criminal justice system. Going forward, I have no doubt that my experience at Kino will carry through to my work and home life. For example, much of my research and teaching centres on the long-term histories of what we might call the Borderlands, and the Kino immersion has planted the seed for a new project looking at the archaeology of immigration here in Santa Clara Valley. I would recommend this immersion to any SCU faculty who are interested in complicating their own understanding of migration and the border crisis." - Lee Panich, Anthropology Department
Photo by Lee Panich
When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change. Personal involvement with innocent suffering, with the injustice others suffer, is the catalyst for solidarity, which then gives rise to intellectual inquiry and moral reflection.
Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., former superior general of the Jesuit order, challenged American Jesuit higher education with these words at the Justice Conference held at SCU in 2000. In the Ignatian spirit of holistic education and education in service of the common good, the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education offers an annual immersion trip for Faculty and Staff members.
Through this immersion opportunity we seek to:
- Deepen our engagement with the Jesuit higher-educational vision
- Strengthen understanding of and solidarity with marginalized communities
- Foster companionship and collaboration with fellow SCU colleagues
History of the Program
The Ignatian Center has run an immersion for SCU faculty and staff since 1992. The endeavor was sparked initially by the signing of the Peace Accords in El Salvador and the call for truth and reconciliation in the wake of the Salvadoran Civil War. Over the years, many of our campus community have attended immersions, and we hear time and time again that that experience has made a profound personal and professional impact on participants.
Today, we continue our ongoing commitment to a partnership on the Arizona/Mexico Border, working alongside many Jesuits and Jesuit institutions with the Kino Border Initiative, which seeks to promote US/Mexico border and immigration policies that affirm the dignity of each human person, and a spirit of cross-frontier solidarity.
- Three pre-trip meetings in the Spring/Summer
- Four nights/five days in Arizona in early September
- Two post-trip recollection meetings in the Fall
- A solidarity response project designed together as a group
Participants are selected from staff and faculty leaders (and at times key community members) who seek to use this experience to advance university mission through their respective roles on campus. Priority is given to:
- Faculty/staff who play a significant leadership role in the University or desire to cultivate such leadership for University mission and identity.
- Individuals who have not participated in a University immersion in the past.
- Staff who are committed to the Jesuit mission, have been at the University for two (2) years and are likely to remain for the foreseeable future.
The selection process is coordinated by the Ignatian Center staff in consultation with the President and Provost.
For all enquiries, please contact:
Charles Mansour, Director of Immersions; email@example.com; 1-408-554-5346