Luz Reyes-Martin, Director of Communications
Reverend Gregory J. Boyle, the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries
in Los Angeles, the world’s largest and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation
and re-entry program, will speak at SBCC’s Garvin Theatre on May 8 from 5:00 to 7:00
p.m. Father Gregory’s work has been called “a moving example of unconditional love
in difficult times” by Simon & Schuster, publishers of his most recent book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship.
In a time when our nation is conflicted about how best to deal with issues of poverty and violence, Barking to the Choir offers a snapshot into a world defined by more compassion and fewer barriers, with gentleness and humor. The stories of former gang members will, according to one reviewer, “uplift the soul and reveal how bright life can be when filled with unconditional love and kindness.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our SBCC community to hear about the work by this remarkable man,” said Luis Giraldo, SBCC’s Director of Equity, Diversity and Cultural Competency.
In 1986, Father Boyle was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church, the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles with the highest concentration of gang activity in city. He witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during what he has called "the decade of death.” While the policies and tactics of law enforcement and criminal justice emphasized 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: treating gang members as human beings.
According to Father Boyle, “Community trumps gang, every time.”
Click here to see a YouTube sneak peek of Father Boyle reading from Barking to the Choir
Click here to hear Father Boyle's interview with Terry Gross on NPR's "Fresh Air"