Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world.
A Jesuit priest, from 1986 to 1992 Father Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles that also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city.
Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called “decade of death” that began in Los Angeles in the late 1980s and peaked at 1,000 gang-related killings in 1992. In the face of law enforcement tactics and criminal justice policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, Father Boyle and parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treat gang members as human beings.
In 1988 they started what would eventually become Homeboy Industries, which employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to thousands of men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking 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, was published in 2017.
He has received the California Peace Prize and 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 honor given to American Catholics.
Gregory Boyle’s Monday Sessions:
Save the World… or Savor It? Being Reached by the Widow, Orphan and Stranger
Keynote Address by Gregory Boyle, Founder, Homeboy Industries
Jesuit priest, author, speaker, and world-renowned expert in gang intervention, Gregory J. Boyle will deliver the 2019 ONLC Keynote Address.
In his keynote address, Gregory Boyle will share how compassion, kindness, and kinship are the tools to fight despair and decrease marginalization. Through his stories and parables, all will be reminded that no life is less valuable than another.”
Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California. From 1986 to 1992, Fr. Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church, then the poorest Catholic parish in the city, located between two large public housing projects and the territories of numerous gangs. There, he and parish and community members started what would eventually become Homeboy Industries, now the largest, most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry program in the world. Homeboy trains and employs former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to more than 10,000 people who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.
Lessons from the Field: Kinship as an Intervention
Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California, dates its beginnings to 1988 and is now the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. Homeboy is a community of kinship in which those seeking to leave the gang life behind can find hope and receive support to redefine their lives. In essence, Homeboy helps former gang members discover and inhabit their true selves. Gregory Boyle will speak about universal kinship and redemption, and how the healing power of unconditional love reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.
Presented by Gregory Boyle, Founder, Homeboy Industries