Father Gregory Boyle, the “Gandhi of the Gangs,” has devoted his ministry to redirecting the lives of gang members through boundless, restorative love and the socially entrepreneurial businesses they created and successfully run.
Father Greg is a Jesuit priest and founder of Homeboy Industries. He was born and raised in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles as one of eight children. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Gonzaga University, a Master of Arts degree in English from Loyola Marymount University, and advanced theology degrees from The Weston School of Theology and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. Father Greg went on to teach at Los Angeles’ Loyola High School, and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He served as a chaplain at a Mexican penal colony and Folsom Prison before moving back to Los Angeles to serve as the Pastor of Dolores Mission in Boyle Heights.
Father Greg founded Homeboy Bakery following the 1992 Los Angeles Riots with a mission to create an environment that provided training, work experience and the ability for rival gang members to work side-by-side. The success of this enterprise led to the founding of additional businesses, such as Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, Homeboy Diner, Homeboy Farmers Markets and Homegirl Cafe.
Father Greg is also a consultant to youth service and government agencies, policy-makers and employers. In 2010, he authored the New York Times bestselling book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, a recollection of his 20-plus years serving in the barrio.
California Hall of Fame, 2011
Civic Medal of Honor
Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, 2008
James Irvine Foundation, 2008
Lifetime Achievement Award
California Peace Prize
California Wellness Foundation, 2000