Beautiful, straightforward, hard-hitting, compassionate talk… He truly believes that love, community and tenderness can transform the world…

Heard him last nite at UCSB – we laughed, we cried and we were moved to see the world around us with more compassion, especially those standing on “the fringes.” This Jesuit priest has helped many gang members to transform their lives “from the inside out.”

Father Gregory Boyle, founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, is an acknowledged expert on gangs, intervention and re-entry and today serves on the US Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Task Force.

Born in Los Angeles, one of eight children, Fr. Greg worked in the family-owned dairy, loading milk trucks to earn his high school tuition. An enduring memory of that youthful time is when “…these weathered old truckers would come up to me, put their arms around me and point at my father in the distance, on the loading dock, and say, ‘Your dad is a great man.'”

Lessons from that first job apply at Homeboy Industries today where employees come to change for themselves and their children. Homeboy Industries traces its roots to “Jobs For A Future” (JFF), created in 1988 by Boyle at Dolores Mission.

To address the escalating problems of gang-involved youth, he and the community developed an elementary school, day care program and sought legitimate employment for young people. Boyle serves on the National Gang Center Advisory Board (Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention).

He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy and previously served on the California Commission on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention.

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