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Founder of Homeboy Industries on redemption, second chances and the power of hope




Jesuit Priest Father Greg Boyle poses outside the
Jesuit Priest Father Greg Boyle poses outside the "Jobs for a Future" employment center he runs for Latino gang members who want out of a life of crime and gangbanging 18 December, 2000 in the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights.
MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images

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Father Gregory Boyle knows a thing or two about second chances.

The Jesuit priest has built his life around offering them to those that most of the rest of society might overlook or dismiss. As the founder of Los Angeles’ Homeboy Industries, Father Greg offers a second lease on life to former gang members and the recently incarcerated, connecting ‘homies’ and ‘homegirls,’ as he calls them, with services like substance abuse treatment, tattoo removal, mental health counseling and employment services. And when you’ve spent almost three decades doing what he has, you get to see firsthand what someone can accomplish if given a second chance and a good nudge in the right direction.

In his latest book, “Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship,” Father Greg looks back on the lessons he’s learned as he approaches 30 years at the helm of Homeboy Industries, which now boasts many social and businesses ventures as its own. He talks about the homies and homegirls whose stories have touched his life – the former gang member and inmate trying to kick his drug habit and start over, or the man trying to find a way to forgive his family after they abandoned him as a child – and how we can learn lessons from them about perseverance, compassion, forgiveness, and the power of unconditional love.

Father Greg will be speaking about his book in a series of events this week:

Guest:

Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries; author of the new book, “Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship” (Simon & Schuster, 2017)