Delton Utsey speaks at the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice
St. Louis University High School Senior Speaks at Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

St. Louis University High School senior Delton Utsey was a featured speaker at this year’s Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice (IFTJ) on Sunday, Nov. 5. He gave an impassioned presentation about his work for racial justice in St. Louis.

His presentation focused on “Sonder”: the recognition that every person in your world is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. He used this concept to reflect on the people involved in the case of a white St. Louis police who killed an African-American man. When the police officer was found not guilty, St. Louisans protested for several weeks, calling for racial equity. 

“We must dive deep below the surface of petty labels and stereotypes that polarize us and find a way into the complex world that is human dignity and deeper understanding … Sonder can lead us to Magis.” Delton said. 

See his full presentation HERE

Delton was one of 23 students from St. Louis University High School participating in the Teach-In. He is involved in numerous organizations for youth advocacy, social justice and reform and building better connections in the St. Louis area. He is passionate about improving racial tension within St. Louis, improving the criminal justice system for police and citizens, and alleviating the burden of generational poverty. He aims to build bridges and talk about recent events in St. Louis with a positive light of change.

Nearly 2,000 people gathered for the 20th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C. The yearly gathering addresses timely social justice issues in the context of Catholic faith tradition—this year with a primary focus on racism and immigration. 

Known as the largest annual Catholic social justice gathering in the U.S., the Teach-In attracts many young people ages 16-22, representing over 120 Jesuit and other Catholic universities, high schools, and parishes in the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, and El Salvador.

In addition to St. Louis University High School, the following works of this province sent representatives: 

  • De Smet Jesuit High School, St. Louis
  • Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas
  • Regis Jesuit High School, Denver
  • Regis University, Denver
  • Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Mo. 
  • Saint Louis University, St. Louis 
  • Spring Hill College, Mobile, Ala.
  • St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church - Kansas City (Mo.) 
  • St. Louis University High School, St. Louis
  • Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, Houston

See all presentations on the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s YouTube channel. 

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