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Gregory  Boyle

Gregory Boyle

Founder, Homeboy Industries


"Father Gregory was terrific! Wow day 2 was amazing and Fr. Gregory just brought it home! I heard back from my team watching remotely (as I was in studio), and so many were moved to tears. He touched on all those powerful notes and connected with a program we are launching called Belong. He wove in 'we belong to each other' which was just perfect. It would have been wonderful to have met him in person. That’s one of the beauties of an in-person event. Nonetheless, he was a total pro and did an amazingly in the virtual environment. He even plugged in a few jokes to make sure the audience was still listening."    -Kaiser

Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world. A Jesuit priest, from 1986 to 1992 Father Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles that also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city.  Read More >

Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called “decade of death” that began 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 and 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 new book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, was published in 2017. And his new and third book is now available, The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness.

He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.  In 2014, President Obama named Father Boyle a Champion of Change.  He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics. In 2020, he served as a committee member of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Economic and Job Recovery Task Force as a response to COVID-19 crisis. In the same year, Homeboy Industries was the recipient of the 2020 Hilton Humanitarian Prize validating 32 years of Fr. Greg’s vision and work by the organization for over three decades. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Stories of Kinship and Compassion

Turning Point

Homeboy Industries Against Gang Rivalry

Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job

Speech Topics

The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness

Gregory Boyle will share what he has learned in three decades working with marginalized populations at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Calif. — that love is the answer, community is the context, and tenderness is the connective tissue. Tenderness reflects the foundational notion that there are no us and them, only us. Homeboy seeks to be what the world is invited to become. Kinship cannot happen without tenderness.

Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship

In a nation deeply divided and plagued by poverty and violence, Boyle offers a snapshot into the challenges and joys of life on the margins. A moving example of unconditional love during dif­ficult times, this keynote is guaranteed to shake up our ideas about God and about people. Boyle shares what three decades of working with gang members in Los Angeles has taught him about faith, compassion and the enduring power of kinship. He also invites us to find kinship with one another and reconvinces us all of our own goodness.

The Power of Boundless Compassion

Running a Company with Heart