Homeboy Sermon

Jesuit to Preach Compassion Amid Gang Violence

Father Gregory Boyle

Tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m., UCSB’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Center will host a lecture by Father Greg Boyle at Campbell Hall.

Boyle is Jesuit priest who has worked amongst the poor communities of East Los Angeles since 1986. In 1988 Boyle expanded his work by founding Jobs For a Future/Homeboy Industries a program developed to assist gang members and at risk youth to find positive alternatives to the violent lifestyle surrounding them.

Over the years and numerous success stories Homeboy Industries has been expanded to include job placement services, counseling, and even free tattoo removal for former gang members. Father Boyle’s mission is dedicated to giving opportunities to a population that is often dismissed by society. This unconventional reform strategy contradicts the often hard-line stance on gangs taken by Los Angeles and California’s judicial systems. His ideology of “empowering” gang members has drawn much criticism notably from the LAPD who claim that Boyle harbors criminals and glorifies gangs. Despite these allegations Father Boyle’s tactics and his lecture may be prove to be helpful in resolving Santa Barbara’s own gang problems.


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