Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J. Visits NDNU to Speak on Gang Reform

Hope Has an Address: the Story of Homeboy Industries

Belmont, CA, March 19, 2013 — Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) welcomes founder of Homeboy Industries, Father Gregory Boyle, to campus on Wednesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. for an inspirational talk on the transformative power of compassion and his work leading the nation’s largest gang intervention program. The talk kicks off the university’s annual day of service, Call to Action Day. This year’s Call to Action theme is “Youth: from Crisis to Hope.”

Fr. Boyle is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Boundless Power of Compassion, a memoir of his work with gang-affiliated youth and a call to kinship. In recent interviews, Fr. Boyle says that he looks at his position as a calling. “I don’t save people. God saves people. I can point them in the right direction. I can say, ‘There’s that door. I think if you walked through it, you’d be happier than you are.'”

Homeboy Industries is the largest gang-intervention program in the country, serving the needs of thousands of East Los Angeles gang members who are looking for a way to leave the streets behind. Father Boyle has mentored and counseled the more than 12,000 gang members to learn job skills, get their gang tattoos removed and attend therapy sessions on everything from alcohol abuse to anger management.

“His lectures speak about universal kinship and redemption and that no life is less valuable than another,” said Jean Conde, NDNU Dean of Students. “Here at Notre Dame de Namur University we share his philosophy and feel his work is a living example and inspiration of the school’s mission.”

The free lecture event is open to the public and is anticipated to draw hundreds of attendees.

Interviews and photo/filming opportunities available.

WHAT: Fr. Greg Boyle, along with two former gang-members that he mentored and reformed, will share personal and inspiring stories from his 25 years of work with gang-involved youth and discuss the environmental and social conditions that make young men and women gravitate towards gangs.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Notre Dame de Namur University Cunningham Memorial Chapel: 1500 Ralston Avenue, Belmont (In addition to parking on campus, a shuttle service will be offered from the Belmont Caltrain station.)

Notre Dame de Namur University is an independent Catholic, coeducational institution serving 2000 students. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, Belgium in 1851 and chartered by the state in 1868, NDNU maintains a strong commitment to social justice and community engagement. The University is fully accredited and offers 21 liberal arts and career preparation undergraduate programs, and 12 graduate degrees and four credentials. The 50-acre campus is located in Belmont, California, just south of San Francisco.