Jesuit Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program in the world, will give a workshop and talk as part of the Mackey Lecture series, April 21 and 22, in the Mystical Rose Oratory on the Chaminade University-Saint Louis School campus.
Father Boyle will lead an informal interactive workshop Saturday, April 21, 8:30 a.m.-noon in Mystical Rose. An optional donation of $20 is appreciated. Light refreshments will be provided.
He will deliver a public lecture titled “Barking to the Choir: the Power of Radical Kinship” in Mystical Rose on Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m. Admission is free and no registration is required.
Father Boyle was pastor from 1986 to 1992 of Dolores Mission Church, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles, located between two large public housing projects with the highest concentration of gang activity in the city.
The Jesuit priest witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during what he has called “the decade of death” that began in the late 1980s. In opposition to the existing law enforcement tactics and criminal justice policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the response to gang violence, Father Boyle and parish and community members adopted what was considered a radical approach at the time: treat gang members as human beings.
By 1988, having buried an ever growing number of young people killed in gang violence, Father Boyle sought to develop positive opportunities for gang-associated youth, including establishing an alternative school and day care program, and seeking out legitimate employment. They called this initial effort Jobs for a Future.
In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Jobs for a Future and Proyecto Pastoral, a community-organizing project begun at Dolores Mission, launched their first social enterprise business in an abandoned bakery. They called it Homeboy Bakery.
The effort grew to become Homeboy Industries, which employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as providing critical services to more than 10,000 men and women a year who come looking for a better life.
Father Boyle is the author of the 2010 New York Times bestseller “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.” His new book, “Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship,” will be published later this year.
He is the subject of Academy Award-winner Freida Lee Mock’s 2012 documentary, “G-Dog.” He has received the California Peace Prize and has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, the White House named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics.
The Mackey Lectures are jointly sponsored by Saint Louis School, Chaminade University and the Marianist Center of Hawaii. For more information, contact Marianist Brother Dennis Schmitz at 232-6691 or firstname.lastname@example.org.