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Homeboy Priest Comes to Santa Monica College Thursday  

By Lookout Staff

March 7, 2011 -- Father “Greg” Boyle – who founded Homeboy Industries in response to rioting that wracked the region in 1992 – is coming to Santa Monica College Thursday to present “Homies: A Bakery, A Restaurant and A Whole Lotta Hope.”

Known for his work among the youth of the East Los Angeles barrios, acclaimed speaker Fr. Boyle will speak about his transformational ministries.

The idea of inviting him first came to the college's Director of Community Relations Judy Neveu after she heard him speak at a Rotary Club function.

“He can speak extemporaneously...with no notes, no powerpoint, no gadgets. He can hold an audience spellbound,” Neveu told the Lookout Friday.

“He makes you laugh and cry at the same time,” Neveu said, “laugh because of his wonderful, holistic take on things...and cry for all the things we still have to do.”

Homeboy Bakery, Fr. Boyle's first ministry, was launched to give at-risk youth training, work experience, and more than that, an environment where gang rivals could work together in a spirit of cooperation.

That enterprise was the foundation for Homeboy Industries, located in downtown Los Angeles, which now includes Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, and Homegirl Café.

The ministry has become a national model and “is recognized as the largest gang intervention and re-entry program in the county” college Public Information Officer Bruce Smith says.

Fr. Boyle has also written “Tattoos on the Heart,” which Publishers Weekly has named as one of the “Best Books of 2010.”

Boyle's free talk will begin at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, March 10 in the SMC Theatre Arts Main Stage on the main campus, 1900 Pico Blvd.

It is sponsored by the SMC Associates, a nonprofit organization that funds speakers and special programs at the college, and the SMC English Department.

For information, call (310) 434-4303.


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