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Homeboy’s Fr. Gregory Boyle to Present 2012 One Book, One Campus

Father Gregory Boyle will share his experiences working with some of Los Angeles’ toughest gangs when the Woodbury University campus comes together to explore his bestselling book “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion” on Saturday, August 25.

The Jesuit priest who founded Homeboy Industries will be the featured speaker during the One Book, One Campus program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Woodbury University, 7500 Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank. One Book, One Campus brings together first-year Woodbury students to engage in a common conversation about important issues. Woodbury sent all new students a free copy of the book this summer, and “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion” will also be a part of a Civic Learning and Leadership class offered at Woodbury this fall.

“Fr. Boyle’s offers a powerful personal and professional testament to how lives can be transformed to create better communities,” says Phyllis Cremer, Ed.D., vice president, Office of Student Development, Woodbury University. “Education is an essential component of this process, which is why the Woodbury community is using ‘Tattoos on the Heart’ to talk about how today’s students can make a difference for all of us in the future.”

Fr. Boyle’s book, a series of essays about universal kinship and redemption, has been honored by SCIBA (Southern California Indie Booksellers Association), Pen USA, Publishers Weekly, and Goodreads Choice Awards. The Los Angeles native founded Homeboy Industries to provide training, jobs, and support for former gang members and prisoners. While pastor of Dolores Mission Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, he started the “Jobs for  a Future” program, a precursor to Homeboy Industries, as way to offer alternatives to gang life. Fr. Boyle also previously taught at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, served as chaplain in the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom prison, and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Fr. Boyle has received numerous honorary degrees, awards and recognitions including the Civic Medal of Honor, the California Peace Prize, Humanitarian of the Year from Bon Appetit Magazine, and in 2011 was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Fr. Boyle has served on the State Commission for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, The National Youth Gang Center Board and the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Task Force.