Justice in Jesuit Higher Education

The Call For Proposals Is Closed.

The primary contact for each submission will be contacted by September 15.

This Call for Proposals is an invitation for you to share in an historic gathering at Georgetown University, June 3-6, 2020.  This event will mark 20 years since the first Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education Conference, held at Santa Clara University in 2000, when Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ delivered his famous address as Superior General: The Service of Faith & the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education. Fr. Kolvenbach challenged us to integrate this mission commitment into our teaching, scholarship and institutional lives as Jesuit universities, and inspired the formation of an Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) national steering committee which has hosted conferences at John Carroll (2005), Fairfield (2009), Creighton (2013) and Seattle University (2017). More information about past conferences can be found here.

We warmly welcome members of the Jesuit higher education community from every discipline and department to bring your insights and best practices, your scholarship and pedagogical experience, your aspirations and your inspirations, to enrich this gathering of colleagues as we both honor the journey of the past 20 years, and orient ourselves toward the expansive horizon ahead of us.

Deadline: August 1, 2019

Directions: One primary contact is requested to submit a proposal for each session through the online Qualtrics submission system (poster, roundtable, workshop) seeking review. The submission form is available here to view ONLY so that presenters may work on the proposal offline before entering information into the Qualtrics system. 

Questions? Email justiceconference@georgetown.edu.

Call for Proposals

Injustice is rooted in a spiritual problem, and its solution requires a spiritual conversion of each one’s heart and a cultural conversion of our global society so that humankind, with all the powerful means at its disposal, might exercise the will to change the sinful structures afflicting our world.

– Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education, Santa Clara University, 2000

The National Steering Committee invites proposals for roundtables, workshops, and posters for presentation at the 20th Anniversary “Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education” Conference, to be held at Georgetown University, June 3 to 6, 2020. The Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus, established through a process of community discernment and promulgated in February 2019, may prove useful in framing proposals for the conference. These call on us and our institutions to address four key concepts:

1. To show the way to God through discernment and the Spiritual Exercises

We are bombarded with images and options; there is almost no space to find our self or to let God find us. We often do not know or drown out our own desires, passions, and a sense of vocation. Without the wisdom of the Spirit, we can have a sense that we are not in charge of our own destinies, and are puppets at the mercy of the moment.

2. To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice

We see the income gap widen across the world and we hear weekly reports of people perishing as they try to reach a new home. Political leaders kindle hatred and erected walls between rich and poor, young and old, those at home and those who have to migrate. The reality of children who have been abused, physically or sexually, is painfully and personally present to us.

3. To accompany the young in the creation of a hope-filled future

Youth is a time for fundamental decisions and the beginning of fulfilling our dreams. Yet, young people today face enormous challenges: the uncertainty of relationships in a digital era, diminishing opportunities for work, the increase of political violence, discrimination, and degradation of the environment. These injustice impair their discovery of a road upon which they can build supportive personal and family relations based on solid spiritual and financial foundations.

4. To collaborate in the care of our Common Home

Creation today is crying out as never before, laboring to be set free (Romans 8). Today’s environmental crisis impacts the poor and vulnerable most severely. Action is needed urgently by Christians and by all people of good will. Whole nations and peoples need an ecological conversion if we are to be honest custodians of our planet. We can change the course of history.

Through reflection on these Apostolic Preferences in relation to our gathering’s theme of justice, participants may wish to consider such issues as environmental or ecological justice, racial justice, justice and health care, justice and gender, and justice and disabilities. How is attention to these concerns reflected, or challenged institutionally – through research, teaching, community engagement, praxis, and attention to the individual – or through habits of mind?

We encourage proposals for posters, workshops, and roundtables that are jointly offered with global partners in the Jesuit network. Such collaboration is a natural way to share strong practices and partnerships among AJCU colleges and universities and our colleagues from Jesuit higher education institutions and apostolates around the world.

As we envision this gathering as a space of learning, reflection, and discernment, the National Steering Committee strongly encourages roundtable, workshop, and poster proposals that:

  • Balance conceptual and theoretical frameworks with concrete, pragmatic examples, preferably from more than one program or institution;
  • Facilitate reflection and engage participants in bringing vision or theory to practice;
  • Foster discovery and address critical challenges through idea sharing, community building and reflection; and
  • Encourage discussion and engage participants interactively, rather than only the presentation of material.

Session Formats: Workshop, Roundtable, Poster

Workshop: After a brief presentation of the central issues at stake for the conversation, workshops guide participants through engaged discussion, opportunities for reflection, and/or hands-on, collaborative activities.

Roundtable: Roundtables provide the opportunity for 2 or 3 brief presentations, accompanied with discussion and reflection.

Poster: Posters encourage broader dissemination of and dialogue on research, ideas, and practices and allow presenters to share models of justice-focused curricular and co-curricular frameworks, pedagogies, and approaches; strategies for institutional transformation and community partnerships; research findings and disaggregated data, as well as high-impact practices for faculty development, community engagement, or coursework activities. Posters should be 24×36 inches.

The schedule for the gathering is still a work in progress. We expect roundtables and workshop sessions to be approximately 75 minutes in length. In the roundtable and workshop sessions, roughly equal time should be allocated for presenters and session attendees to contribute to the discussion.