6:00am | Father Greg Boyle spoke Wednesday night to a warm crowd of about 200 people at the celebration of the 3rd anniversary of the Bixby Knolls Literary Society; at the Expo Building on Atlantic Ave in Bixby Knolls.
In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Father Greg launched the first business of Homeboy Industries called the Homeboy Bakery with a mission to create an environment that provided training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The success of the Bakery created the groundwork for additional businesses, thus prompting them to become a non-profit organization, Homeboy Industries, in 2001. Today, Homeboy Industries’ nonprofit economic development enterprises include Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, and Homegirl Café.
As Executive Director of Homeboy Industries and an acknowledged expert on gangs and intervention approaches, Fr. Boyle is a nationally renowned speaker. He has given commencement addresses at numerous universities, as well as spoken at conferences for teachers, social workers, criminal justice workers and others about the importance of adult attention, guidance and unconditional love in preventing youth from joining gangs. Fr. Greg and several “homies” were featured speakers at the White House Conference on Youth in 2005 at the personal invitation of Mrs. George Bush.
Father Greg told stories from his book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, which was released on March 9, 2010 and will be in paper back later this month. The clip speaks of a greater need for our society to be gripped and motivated by a unified vision of "kinship".