Magis Americas and the the Ignatian Family Honor the World Day of Migrants & Refugees

On World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Magis Americas joins the Ignatian Solidarity NetworkJesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology, and Kino Border Initiative in a joint campaign of prayer and advocacy. Together, along with so many other members of the Ignatian family, we honor the lives of migrants and their families, celebrate the work of our partners who continue to accompany them each day, and call on governments around the world to implement policies that will better care for this vulnerable population.

We invite you to join us in prayer on September 24, 2023:


For more information about the campaign and ways to get involved, check out the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology,

World Day of Migrants Refugees 2023

Magis Americas Staff connect with supporters in California

Over the past several years, California has become a more and more prominent destination on my travel bucket list. Although I was born in Washington State, and have made a few treks to the Pacific Northwest, I’ve never had the opportunity to stand in awe of the redwoods, experience the pulse of Los Angeles, pray at the Spanish mission churches, or marvel at Yosemite. That finally changed last month when our Executive Director, Nate Radomski, and I were able to travel to the Bay Area in California. During our trip we were able to meet with some of our generous donors, share a memorable dinner with a member of our board of directors, and, of course, spend time with the remarkable Fr. Pete Henriot, S.J.

A real highlight of this trip was the opportunity to meet with several passionate and generous donors.  These men and women are truly dedicated to making a positive difference in the world and they believe in the mission of our organization. Their commitment to the work of our partners, especially Fe y Alegría and Centro Ignacio Ellacuría (CIE), was communicated most poignantly through their continued connections to the people at the heart of the work. Many conversations centered around the communities of Fe y Alegría and CIE and the impact these people had on the lives of our donors. These conversations reminded me to keep the faces and hearts of our partners in my mind during my work day.

One of the most memorable evenings of my trip was spent in the company of a remarkable member of our board of directors, Pam Hennard. As we gathered around a table, Pam, Nate, and I took time to share what has brought each of us to Magis Americas and the reasons that we are passionate about the causes we support. One theme that stood out to me was the influence of our parents in bringing us to this work.  While we are all successful adults now, their encouragement, support, and examples continue to motivate each of us. 

Finally, the pinnacle of my trip was undoubtedly the opportunity to meet Fr. Pete Henriot, S.J., a legendary figure in the Society of Jesus and a true “man for others.” Originally from Tacoma, Washington, Fr. Pete is an internationally respected Jesuit researcher, speaker, and writer on social justice, globalization, and Africa. Most recently, Fr. Pete has served as Development Director for Loyola Jesuit Secondary School (LJSS) in Malawi.  His work for the school and in other similar roles he has had as a Jesuit is about much more than simply raising funds;Fr. Pete is committed to creating sustainable change, empowering communities, and fostering a sense of hope and faith.

As I returned home from my trip, I carried with me the lessons learned from these incredible individuals. Their examples of compassion, leadership, and commitment continue to inspire me daily in my role here at Magis Americas. California will always hold a special place in my heart as the backdrop to this transformative journey, where I witnessed the power of generosity and the incredible impact it can have on the lives of those in need.


Global Citizenship Education as a Force to Change the Course and Transform Education

Education as a tool for transformation

How many times a day are we exposed to news of the alarming realities that many of our fellow brothers and sisters face? The protection of individuals’ dignity, the commitment to ensuring basic rights, and the safety and health of our common home are all at risk. We live in an increasingly connected world yet, sometimes, it is hard to connect and empathize with each other’s realities. Seeing past ourselves and accepting our interdependencies as strengths can help us take our place as agents of change for a more humane world. To stand in solidarity in the mission of justice and reconciliation and realize our role as Global Citizens, we first need to see the possibility of change.

The choices we collectively make today will determine our shared futures. One of these choices, perhaps the most important, is how we are educating the leaders of tomorrow. Education is the basic human right, key in accessing all other rights and inevitably linked with our responsibility as Global Citizens. Yet, today more than 260 million children and youth are denied this right.

Education is a tool for societal transformation. It cultivates understanding and builds capabilities that can help us create more just and equitable societies. Education mobilizes knowledge to help us navigate a transforming and uncertain world. Global Citizenship Education (GCE) takes this to the global stage. It has the power to connect us with the world, encouraging us to revisit our assumptions, be critical in our analysis of current issues, engage in collective action, and include others in possible solutions. GCE exposes us to new possibilities, leading us in changing the course and transforming education.

The “La Silla Roja” campaign, Magis Americas’ annual GCE campaign, encourages students to take action locally and globally, transforming their mindsets and educational experiences. Every year, the “La Silla Roja” campaign works to defend the right to an equitable and inclusive education. In 2021, the campaign led students and youth through a process of reflection, awareness, and action in which they ultimately made a Promise to Education (#APromise2Education). Students took on their responsibility as Global Citizens and realized that #APromise2Education is a promise for opportunities, agency, and the contribution of creating a more inclusive and just world.

Global Citizenship Education in Action

At least eight high schools within the Jesuit School Network participated, in this year’s campaign, all in different forms. Here are some examples and takeaways from students and teachers.

St. Peter’s Preparatory

“Introducing students to ‘La Silla Roja’ was an incredibly rewarding experience….I believe in the transformative power of education as a tool to empower students and broaden their perspectives and engaging with this campaign edified that belief as I watched my students apply their knowledge for the betterment of our world.” – Salvatore Veniero, Director of Global Initiatives

The St. Peter’s Prep Global Ed Club took the initiative to bring “La Silla Roja” to their school. The board members of the club went through the three phases of the challenge, and decided their Promise to Education would be a series of activities for fellow students to get involved and learn more:

  1. Presenting the “La Silla Roja” campaign to the freshman and sophomore classes
  2. Painting red chairs to place around the school
  3. Participating in a “La Silla Roja” scavenger hunt
  4. Letter writing to congress
  5. Tutoring students from a Fe y Alegría school in Peru

James Popadick, Senior
“I participated in the ‘La Silla Roja’ campaign because I wanted to be able to make a direct impact on not only my school community but also the community of individuals who currently lack the access to education that is essential in the lives of all people.”

Joshua Pascale, Senior
“My biggest takeaway from this program was gaining a greater sense of gratitude for everything I’ve been given in my life.”

Evan Merkov, Sophomore
“’La Silla Roja’ campaign [gave me the] wonderful opportunity to give back to my global community, and it is an experience I will keep with me for a long time to come.”

Jesuit High School, Tampa

“This year’s ‘La Silla Roja’ campaign was an impactful experience for our students. They were able to learn about how the pandemic has increased educational inequities and the concrete ways Fe y Alegría is working to bring quality educational experiences to those most in need. The ‘La Silla Roja’ campaign not only made our students aware of the problem, but also inspired them to take action to promote educational opportunities for all.” – Dr. Cristina Delano, Foreign Language Department

The La Gente Club took the lead in painting two chairs red and placing them around the school. Throughout the fall semester, a series of Spanish classes went through the challenge and students made their Promises to Education.

Archie Teller, Class of 2022
“’La Silla Roja’ is a great metaphor for the need to improve education, and the activities with it that I have done have helped me do my part for this cause. The biggest action I have taken so far was giving a speech in front of my whole school about the ‘La Silla Roja’ campaign, what it means, and what our school can do to help.”

Diego Cubas, Class of 2023
“Painting la ‘Silla Roja’ allowed me to reflect on the social crisis of kids who are deprived of school. I believe it was a great way to help bring awareness to the people around the school.”

Sam Forman, Class of 2023
“While participating in the ‘La Silla Roja’ project at school, I learned about how lucky I was. In the activity, the issues regarding education and health in countries like Peru and Ecuador were brought to my attention, which is something that had never been done before. This activity helped to inspire me to contribute to my own community by helping teach the children at my local religious school.”

St. Xavier High School Ohio

“We investigated the various reasons why some children do not have access to quality education and how organizations like Fe y Alegría work to provide this fundamental human right to the world’s youth. Magis Americas’ ‘La Silla Roja’ project fit perfectly with our unit, and when I introduced the project to the class, students responded with enthusiasm. In fact, they even generated some of their own ideas to augment the project.” – Therese Bower, English Teacher & Global Education Coordinator

The Global Perspectives class went through the ‘La Silla Roja’ challenge, and in addition to painting a red chair, students suggested a couple of ideas of their own to increase the impact of the project:

  1. They placed red tape across 29% of the desks in the school’s classrooms to represent the percentage of children worldwide who do not complete secondary school
  2. They also 29% of the student body to wear red shirts on a designated day, and then arranged to deliver an education-themed Examen during homeroom.
  3. They did research on the issue
  4. Met with the school principal
  5. Made posters for the display in the main stairwell
  6. Composed and shared an Examen to the school community

Connor M
“Through the ‘La Silla Roja’ Project, I have learned that finding ways to help with global issues is important in my development as a global citizen.”

Andrew S:
“‘La Silla Roja’ really made me appreciate the opportunity that I have been given to attend such a great school and to receive an amazing education. It also taught me how to work as part of a team. We all had different roles, from talking to the principal, to making posters, to writing and reading an Examen for the entire school.”

Brooklyn Jesuit Preparatory

“It is important to have campaigns like this because it allows students to become aware of the hardships others face around the world. It allows them to understand how fortunate they are. These campaigns give students a world view and pop the bubbles that some may be living in. It gives students the true meaning of becoming men and women for others.” Maryellen Doino, School Counselor

The Student Government was responsible for taking the ‘La Silla Roja’ campaign to all homerooms at Brooklyn Jesuit Prep. Students reflected on the importance of access to education shared their thoughts in open discussions as well as organized a dress-down day to support Fe y Alegría.

Safaira Kelly, 8th grader, Student Government President
“This is important because everyone deserves an education”

Gervais Gors, 7th Grade, Student Government Representative
“It was important to learn this because it shows that we should be grateful that we have school because others might not be able to go to school and they can’t achieve what their parents want them to or what their parents couldn’t”


Students took part in contributing to solving the dual challenge we face as a society of (1) fulfilling the promise to ensure the right to quality education for every child, youth, and adult and (2) realizing the transformational potential of education as a means to achieve sustainable societies.

Students changed the course and transformed their educational experiences. Each group was able to see education in a different light and through a different lens. Most importantly, not just education, but the role they can collectively and individually take in collaborating in the creation of a society in which all can access this basic right.