This spring and summer Loyola BSW, MSW, Anthropology, and Stritch School of Medicine students participated in several migration-focused immersion programs with students from the Univeridad Iberoamericana-Mexico City and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente, ITESO. The immersion programs took place on the Mexico/U.S. border and in Mexico City and Chicago with the support of a Loyola Plan 2020 grant: JUSTICIA: Jesuit University Service & Teaching International Collaboration on Immigrant Accompaniment. JUSTICIA is an intra- and inter-institutional partnership for migration-focused education, research, and service that brings together scholars and practitioners from the United States, Mexico, and Central America, drawn primarily from Jesuit institutions to better prepare health, law, social work, and human service professionals for practice with immigrants and their families in communities of origin, transit, destination, and return. The immersion programs are designed to provide an interprofessional and transnational space for dialogue and learning among students and faculty from diverse disciplines and professions including: social work, psychology, public health, medicine, international relations, law, criminal justice, communication, anthropology, sociology, and political science.
Seminars provide an opportunity for participants to come together to study migration-related issues affecting our respective countries and shared regions. The immersion experiences engage U.S., Mexican, and Central American scholars, activists, NGO staff, students and faculty in dialogue and experiential learning opportunities regarding migration focused policy, practice, societal, and social justice matters. The course content and activities offer diverse perspectives, including those from the global south, regarding the social, political, and economic factors that contribute to migration, as well as policy, legal, governmental, advocacy and humanitarian responses to migration. The seminars also focus on local and regional efforts to create alternatives to migration, support migrants in transit and asylum seekers, and the resettlement of migrants and refugees, and integration of return migrants. The ultimate goal of project JUSTICIA is to develop a regional cadre of professionals from diverse disciplines joined by a common Jesuit formation and commitment to accompany migrants in solidarity across borders.