By P. Erik Meyer ’14
This year’s summit will feature four keynote speakers.
All students will be required to attend these assemblies.
The focus of their speeches will revolve around the opportunity gap created by economic inequality, not only in America but around the world.
Rev. Jim Gartland, S.J.
Fr. Gartland is a Jesuit from the Midwest. Through his travels to South America, particularly Peru, Fr. Gartland has learned much about the poor.
He will lead Mass as the celebrant March 4 and speak to the student body during the opening assembly March 5.
As a young Jesuit he lived on a dump in Peru; as he lived and worked on the dump, he learned that the Peruvians really needed running water.
By learning what the people needed most, Fr. Gartland helped the surrounding community and now there is a university for the poor living on the dump.
He expected to spend the rest of his life in South America, but his superior from the Chicago Province called upon him to return to the United States.
Upon arrival, he created the Christo Rey school in Chicago.
The Chicago school is the flagship school, but there are now numerous Christo Rey schools across the country.
Christo Rey schools are only for children who are at or below the poverty line.
Students split time between classrooms and working jobs with corporate sponsors.
As president of the school, he not only took care of the school, but also the community around the school and the children and their families.
After 17 years of having the Christo Rey school in Chicago, the high crime and poverty, low opportunity area surrounding the school has changed.
“He is a man who loves the poor, not because he thinks he has anything to teach them, but because they reveal to him who God is, and together they really do incredible things,” said Mr. Chris Calderon, S.J. “That’s his M.O., that’s his pedagogy.”
Fr. Gartland is currently the Rector of the Formation Community at Boston College.
“He has committed himself to the poor and is a passionate, vibrant Jesuit,” Mr. Calderon said.
Mr. Calvin Terrell will return to Brophy’s summit again this year on March 6.
Last year, Mr. Terrell led a popular workshop about masculinity.
He owns the Phoenix-based organization, Social Centric, a community organizing organization.
This year, Mr. Terrell’s speech will focus on the opportunity gap in the local community.
“His children go to Central High School so he is very involved in the local community,” said Summit Coordinator Mr. Ryan Hubbell. “He will be speaking about taking this topic of economic opportunity and the opportunity gap and really speaking on a hyper local level.”
Mr. Terrell will bring to light the differences between Brophy, Central High School and school districts with even less money.
Dana Wolfe Naimark
Mrs. Dana Wolfe Naimark is the President and CEO of the Children’s Action Alliance.
She will speak to the Brophy community March 13, the final all school assembly of the Summit.
The Children’s Action Alliance is a local organization that focuses on the well-being of children and families, primarily through legislative work
“They are advocates for children and families” said Assistant Principal for Ministry Mrs. Kim Baldwin. “Whether they are talking about education, healthcare or whatever the issue is, if it affects children and families they likely are working on it.”
Mrs. Wolfe Naimark will focus on solutions to problems and how students can move in the right direction.
“We respect their work and the stuff that they do, they are one of the most vocal local voices in regards to those issues and they are very in touch with the local reality,” said Mrs. Baldwin. “When we talk about income inequality, they see it. They see the effects of having a big income gap or income disparity. They see what that does to a community and are working towards finding solutions to help fix that.”
Her solutions are not “pie in the sky,” according to Mrs. Baldwin, they are real things that students can do to improve their community.
A fourth keynote speaker will be announced in the future.