Jesuit priest who uses jobs to save youths from gangs in LA to speak at Fairfield University

Jesuit priest who uses jobs to save youths from gangs in LA to speak at Fairfield University

Image: Gregory Boyle Father Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of Jobs For A Future and Homeboy Industries, two imaginative projects that work with at-risk and gang-involved youth, will speak at Fairfield University on Tuesday, March 28 at 8 p.m. in the Oak Room of the John A. Barone Campus Center. As a result of his work, Fr. Boyle has appeared on "60 Minutes" and was invited to a conference at the White House.

His talk, "Tattoos on the Heart: Putting a Human Face on Gang Members," is part of the Jesuit Jubilee Year lecture series, "Listening to the Voices of Others." It is free and open to the public.

Jobs For A Future is an employment referral center and economic development program, begun in 1988, to assist at-risk and gang-involved youth. Today it assists 1,000 people a month in re-directing their lives and is a nationally-recognized program.

Located in Boyle Heights, a community with arguably the highest concentration of gang activity in Los Angeles, Jobs For A Future provides employment opportunities, counseling, and many other services, including free tattoo removal. "Nothing stops a bullet like a job" is the guiding principle for this initiative that seeks to address the root causes of gang violence.

In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Father Boyle formed Homeboy Industries, to create businesses that provide training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The following economic development enterprises have been created since the first venture: Homeboy Bakery: Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy / Homegirl Merchandise, Homeboy Graffiti Removal, Homeboy Maintenance, and Homeboy Landscaping.

Born in Los Angeles, Father Boyle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Gonzaga University, an Master of Arts degree in English from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology, and an STM degree from the Jesuit School of Theology.

Before becoming Pastor of Dolores Mission in 1986, where he served for six years, Father Boyle taught at Loyola High School and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He has also served as Chaplain of the Islas Marias Penal colony in Mexico and Folsom Prison. He is currently a member of the State Commission on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention, and serves on the National Youth Gang Center Advisory Board.

Father Boyle is a nationally renowned speaker at conferences for teachers, social workers and criminal justice workers about the importance of adult attention, guidance and unconditional love in preventing youth from joining gangs.

Father Boyle's talk is being sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Program in Catholic Studies, Center for Faith and Public Life, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dolan School of Business, Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, Ignatian Residential College, Office of Mission and Identity, Patrick J. Waide Fund and Program in Applied Ethics, and the Program in Peace and Justice Studies

For more information, please contact Carolyn Rusiackas, Associate University Chaplain, at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2901 or .

Posted On: 03-14-2006 10:03 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 178