As the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, Boyle has dedicated his life to helping our most marginalized individuals find a place in society. He has become a beacon of hope around the world and was recently named a White House Champion of Change. The author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, Boyle will distill decades of hard-earned wisdom into moving examples of the power of unconditional love and the importance of fighting despair.
Homeboy Industries employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises and provides critical services to more than 10,000 men and women who walk through its doors every year. It began in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, when Boyle co-launched Homeboy Bakery to create legitimate employment opportunities for people who came to him seeking a better life. In the ensuing years, the success of the bakery created the groundwork for additional businesses, leading to the independent nonprofit organization Homeboy Industries.
A native of Los Angeles, Boyle entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and English from Gonzaga University, a master’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Weston School of Theology, and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.
Boyle’s New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly and received the PEN Center USA 2011 Creative Nonfiction Award. He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. He received the 2016 Humanitarian of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation. He is the subject of Academy Award-winner Freida Lee Mock’s 2012 documentary G-Dog.
Father Gregory Boyle is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures, with support from its community partner, the Orfalea Family. This is part of The Lynda and Bruce Thematic Learning Initiative series Creating a Better World: Social Justice, Human Rights, Economic Security. UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges the generous support of SAGE for its major corporate support of the 2016-17 season.
This is a free event. For more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.