Ignatian Solidarity Network Honors Fairfield University Alumnus

Ignatian Solidarity Network Honors Fairfield University Alumnus

Eric Clayton ’11 is recognized for commitment to social justice leadership.

The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) honored Fairfield University alumnus Eric Clayton ‘11 for his social justice leadership, rooted in faith, at the first annual Ignite: A Celebration of Justice gathering held in New York City on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

Clayton received the Moira Erin O’Donnell Emerging Leader for Justice Award. The award is given in memory of Moira Erin O’Donnell, who had served as ISN’s executive director for less than a year when she passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 33. The annual award honors individuals, ages 23-33, who have received an undergraduate degree from a U.S. Jesuit university, and have demonstrated significant social justice leadership in their communities.

Clayton joined the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) staff in June 2013 and is currently a senior program officer in the new Mission and Mobilization division. In this role, he provides strategic direction and narrative framing for the agency’s largest U.S.-based program, CRS Rice Bowl, and manages a small content team. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University, Clayton holds a master’s degree from American University. Prior to joining CRS, he served in Santa Cruz, Bolivia with the Sisters of Mary Help of Christians. 

Other awardees at the event included Fr. James Martin, S.J., Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J., The Center for Undocumented Students at Saint Peter’s University, and Meaghan Fanning (Rockhurst University ’12).

Founded in 2004, the ISN is a lay-led organization that collaborates with more than 150 Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, Catholic institutions and social justice partners. The network provides social justice education, rooted in Catholic Social Teaching, through its programs and campaigns, and mobilizes more than 20,000 network members to take action on timely issues related to migration, care for creation, racial justice, and criminal justice. As part of its mission, the ISN educates advocates for social justice and cultivates a life-long commitment to “the service of faith and the promotion of justice,” inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and the witness of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador and their companions. In addition to hosting leadership programs and advocacy efforts throughout the U.S., ISN organizes the yearly Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C., which draws more than 2,000 people each year to the nation’s largest annual Catholic social justice gathering and advocacy day.

To learn more about the Moira Erin O’Donnell Emerging Leader for Justice Award, visit ignatiansolidarity.net

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Last modified: 05-24-19 12:00 AM

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