Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Pre-Associate Jason Wilhite are among the team leading a program aimed at taking participants from being students of the immigration system to certified advocates. Both bring their backgrounds in working for immigration reform to the table. Fr. Corey is the executive director of Viator House of Hospitality and Jason is a campus minister at Saint Viator High School, where he began studying the immigration system. Ultimately, he has traveled to the border and retraced the steps taken by migrants, and now co-leads this panel.

Fr. Corey Brost

Jason Wilhite

Called Shoulder to Shoulder, the course takes place over the course of five successive Wednesday evenings through March 2. Along the way, young adults delve deeply into immigration issues facing the nation and discuss how to address these issues by applying civic and religious values.

The program opened Feb. 2 with nearly 60 registered participants. They delved right into a 75-minute discussion entitled, “Why Care?”

Fr. Corey developed the course five years ago after attending a conference for adult migrant activists. Noticably absent from the conference were young people.

“My background prompted me to gather educators with a similar interest who’ve also led trips to the border,” Fr. Corey says. “We aim the program at young people who’ve experienced our broken immigration system and want to learn how to change it.”

The interfaith program is sponsored by Beth Emet Synagogue, Ignatius College Prep, Loyola Academy, the Muslim Education Center, Saint Viator High School and Viator House of Hospitality.

Organizers hope that by dialoguing with migrants, activists, elected officials and each other, participants come away with a clearer understanding of our immigration system and the human beings it impacts, as well as learning skills to advocate for compassionate reform.

To become certified, a student needs to attend session 1, 5 and two of the other three, and complete an advocacy plan. Register for the course, here.