2021-22 JFR Initiative Focuses On Environmental Justice

On Thursday, September 23, the Regis community gathered for an assembly in the auditorium to discuss the theme for this year’s JFR Initiative. Entitled “The Environment: Caring for our Common Home,” the initiative will call students, faculty, and staff to examine the ongoing climate crisis our planet is facing, the social injustices brought forth by this problem, and the need for urgent action to bring change to local and global communities.

Formerly a single day for examining a social justice topic, the JFR Initiative has developed into a more holistic program, inviting the larger Regis community to analyze a single issue of moral significance throughout the academic year and consider the roles they play in creating a more just world. In the spirit of Pope Francis’s call to action in his encyclical Laudato Si’, this year’s programming will lay out the globe’s environmental crisis as it stands now, and the ways in which Regians can and should acknowledge and address this moving forward.

“As we’ve said before, so much of an education at Regis includes a drawing out of principles that make us better people with and for others,” said Assistant Principal for Student Life Mr. Christian Mariano ’99 in his opening remarks. “But this community of ours extends beyond things Regis related. Our community, our home, is much larger. In truth, our definition of our neighbor extends beyond our hallowed walls and as such our commitment to justice is global.”

Thursday’s assembly was presented by the JFR Initiative Student Advisory Committee (JFR-SAC), a group of sophomores, juniors, and seniors that worked in conjunction with the JFR Faculty Committee to devise this year’s theme. In addition to highlighting current environmental concerns occurring all over the world, the assembly outlined actionable steps students can take now to promote a culture of environmental care and awareness. “Climate change affects the world, but we start at Regis,” said Preston Ferraiuolo ’22, JFR-SAC co-chair. “Climate change is a big problem, but it’s not too big for us to tackle: it starts with individuals learning about these issues and making changes.”

Throughout the academic year, assemblies and other school-wide events will take place regarding the JFR Initiative, which will culminate in the annual JFR Day later this spring.

JFR-SAC Co-Chair Preston Ferraiuolo '22 addressed the senior class in the balconies on this year's JFR Initiative.

The Regis student body gathered in the Regis auditorium for an assembly on the environmental crisis.

Excerpts from Pope Francis' Laudato Si' were displayed to demonstrate our commitment as Catholics to promoting climate justice.

Luke Dolan '23 spoke about how severe weather events, like Hurrican Ida, have impacted New Yorkers and people throughout the country and world. 

Members of JFR-SAC posed for a photo at the conclusion of Thursday's assembly.

Posted: 9/24/21