A culmination of a year's worth of programming, Regians, faculty, and staff came together on Thursday, May 12 to take part in the annual St. John Francis Regis (JFR) Day. Learning about, discussing, and working to address climate change and environmental injustice throughout the year, the Regis community gathered to more fully reflect on the global scope of the crises and further commit themselves to addressing the issue in the future.
Inspired by Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' and the call to action it lays out, the theme of this year's JFR Initiative was “The Environment: Caring for our Common Home." The May 12 events began with a keynote address from CNN Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir, whose work includes field coverage during Hurricane Katrina and Japan's nuclear crisis in 2011. After returning to their advisement groups to debrief Weir's remarks, students convened for a number of environmentally-themed activities and sessions, including a talk led by Ajani Stella, a sophomore at Hunter College High School and founder of “Kids Fight Climate Change,” a youth-led education and empowerment not-for-profit.
“Social Justice must be experienced, not taught in a traditional classroom. This year's JFR Day exemplified Regis's commitment to social justice education.," said Preston Ferraiuolo '22, co-chair of the JFR Student Advisory Committee. “Mr. Weir's keynote connected the climate crisis to vulnerable communities across the globe, while other presenters and field trips honed in on the local effects of people on climate change. Most importantly, this year's JFR Initiative empowered students to participate in environmental advocacy. Climate change is our reality, and JFR Day has helped prepare Regians to act. Our generation is stepping up to the call in Laudato Si to Care for our Common Home."