Danielle, Area Director for the Boise, Omak, and Spokane communities, reflects on the nature of political participation in light of an upcoming event, the Ignatian Family Teach In for Justice.:
“This coming weekend I will be joining the recruiter for JVC Northwest, Jeremy, as we attend and participate in the Ignatian Family Teach In for Justice in Washington, D.C. The event is hosted by the Ignatian Solidarity Network and provides a chance for Jesuit High Schools and Universities to gather, explore various issues relating to justice, and promote advocacy on certain issues. This year participants will focus on advocating around Immigration, Climate Change, and closing the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), formerly the School of the Americas. I am excited to have the opportunity to attend the event and to be energized by sharing ideas with so many passionate individuals.
Attending the event also has me thinking about political activism and participation. High school government and history classes taught me that there are many ways to be politically active – an idea which I remember but which for many years I allowed to remain vague in application. November 2nd provided a chance to vote for those of us who are eligible. What are other ways to be politically active? Here are a few of my ideas:
- Read the newspaper to remain informed about current events.
- Write into your local newspaper about a specific issue and/or article.
- Call your Senator or Congressperson. Let the Mayor know what you think.
- Participate in a protest or peaceful gathering.
- Volunteer in order to learn more about the lived experiences relating to current events and issues.
- Share your knowledge and insights with others through conversation.
- Engage in discussion about current issues. Seek to understand all viewpoints.
- Sign a petition.
- Buy from organizations which share your political values.
- Attend a lecture or read a book to learn more about current issues.
As I am traveling to the event, I will reflect on what my values are and how they affect the issues about which I am passionate. I will also be thinking about the many ways that I can use my political voice.”