Father Gregory Boyle to deliver Common Experience lecture
Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries of Los Angeles, the the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world, will speak at Texas State University on Sept. 18 as part of the 2018-19 Common Experience theme, “Innovation.”
The event, sponsored by the School of Social Work and University Lecture Series, will be held in Evans Auditorium. It is free and open to the public, although seating is limited to a firstcome, first-served basis.
As a Jesuit priest, Father Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church (1986-1992), then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles, which 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, along with 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 2017 book is the Los Angeles Times-bestseller Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship.
Anyone requiring accommodations due to a disability should contact 512-245-3579 at least 72 hours in advance of the event.