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Burke Lectureship on Religion & Society - "Barking to the Choir: The Power...

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International House

UC San Diego, International House - The Great Hall

9500 Gilman Drive

La Jolla, CA 92093

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Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, 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, located between two large public housing projects with the highest concentration of gang activity in the city. Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during what he has called “the decade of death” that began in the late 1980s. 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.

By 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 10,000 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, will be published later this year. He is the subject of Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock’s 2012 documentary, G-Dog. He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, the White House 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.

The Lecture Series

Since 1985 the Burke Lectureship has sponsored a permanent, major series of free public lectures by distinguished scholars, authors, and leaders from various religious traditions who speak on the religious dimensions of being human and how religion interacts with society. The speakers visit the campus for one or more days of teaching and exchange with faculty, students, and interested members of the community.

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International House

UC San Diego, International House - The Great Hall

9500 Gilman Drive

La Jolla, CA 92093

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