Homeboy Industries Founder Fr. Boyle to Speak on Gang Intervention

L.A. organization is largest rehab and re-entry program in the world
January 25th, 2017 by 

Fr. Boyle
Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries.

Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, will speak at the College of the Holy Cross on Monday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Seelos Theater, Kimball Hall. His talk, titled, “Lessons from the Field: Kinship as an Intervention,” is free and open to the public.

Homeboy Industries began in 1988, when Fr. Boyle and members of his parish at the Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles identified a few employers willing to hire 70 former gang members. A few years later, after the Los Angeles riots, they opened Homeboy Bakery as a training ground for former gang members to achieve gainful employment. Today, Homeboy Industries serves nearly 10,000 people a year, providing job training and placement along with education, therapy, tattoo removal, substance abuse treatment, and legal assistance. The organization operates a number of social enterprise businesses, including the original Homeboy Bakery, Homegirl Café & Catering, Homeboy Merchandise, and Homeboy Silkscreen and Embroidery. The program serves as a model for more than 70 partner organizations in cities all over the world.

Fr. Boyle is author of the celebrated memoir “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion” (Free Press, 2010). Ordained a priest in 1984, he has taught at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, was chaplain in the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom prison and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He has received the Civic Medal of Honor, the California Peace Prize, and in 2011 was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

Fr. Boyle will visit Holy Cross with two trainees, or “homies,” Ruben Ruiz and David Vasquez, who will speak about their experiences.

The event is presented by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. 

For additional information, please contact Jessica Kennedy at 508-793-2419.

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