Speaking before Congress in September 2015, Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, reminded us that “Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.”

Drawing from our broad network of educational institutions, service providers, and churches, the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S. and the Ignatian Solidarity Network hosted a Congressional briefing featuring a panel of experts on criminal justice, environmental justice, immigration, and poverty.

Informed by Catholic and Jesuit principles and the lived experiences of the people we serve, the panel discussed current policy challenges and opportunities in the 115th Congress, 12 percent of whose members are Jesuit educated.

PANELISTS:
Tashina Rama
Executive Director of Advancement, Red Cloud Indian School (Pine Ridge, South Dakota), is Lakota/Ojibwa, began at Red Cloud as the Director of Student Advancement and Alumni Support in 2009. She previously served as director of financial aid for the New Mexico Higher Education Department under Governor Bill Richardson, and has also worked at the Native American Preparatory School in Rowe, New Mexico; St. John’s College in Santa Fe; and the University of New Mexico’s Institute for Public Policy.

Fr. Timothy M. McCabe, S.J., Executive Director of the Pope Francis Center (Detroit, Michigan), a full-service day shelter for homeless men and women. He joined the Jesuits in 2005 a er 12 years as executive director of the Midwest Jesuit Volunteer Corps. As a Jesuit, Fr. McCabe has served in a hospice for the homeless in San Francisco, as development director at Loyola High School in Detroit, and with the Ignatian Spirituality Project, a program offering retreats to homeless women and men in Chicago.

Mayra Martinez, Loyola University Chicago, Class of 2018 (Chicago, Illinois), a Spanish major with a minor in Latin American Studies, helps co-facilitate Share the DREAM Ally Trainings as well as Undocumented & Proud, a student support group. Her advocacy for undocumented students began in high school, where she worked to create a scholarship for DREAMers and brought consciousness to her community about the struggles these students face.

Jose Osuna, Director, External Affairs, Homeboy Industries (Los Angeles, California), oversees communications, marketing, community outreach, and public and government relations at Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention program in the country. He first came to Homeboy as a trainee and has emerged as a leader. Previously gang-involved since the age of 10, Osuna served 13 years in prison and suffered the death of a son killed by gun violence. His experience is the driving force behind his work at Homeboy.

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