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L.a cali : white pastor/ founder of gang rehabilitation org(homeboy industries..hiring gang members)reversing negative sstereotype

Posted: January 26th, 2017, 7:22 pm
by Quiet-Q
Pastor speaks on reversing negative stereotypes of former gang members
BY ASHRAF SABBAH

Posted: January 26, 2017 12:05 am CAMPUS, NEWS

The founder of a gang rehabilitation organization spoke to hundreds of students Tuesday night about his experiences working with former gang members.

UCLA Housing, the University Religious Conference at UCLA and the undergraduate student government Office of the President hosted Gregory Boyle at the Northwest Campus Auditorium on Tuesday night. Boyle is a priest and the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang rehabilitation organization in the world, which provides support and training to former gang members or formerly incarcerated individuals. He shared stories of his work and discussed his views on gang member rights and societal re-entry programs at the event.

Boyle said he hopes to soften people’s harsh views of criminals and encourage institutions to invest in their lives rather than incarcerate them.

“Stereotypes … make these previously despised and marginalized people a burden to society, when in reality they are a blessing,” Boyle said. “We should encourage them to come to the center of society and appreciate all they can have, physically and spiritually.”

Boyle recounted how he began his gang rehabilitation advocacy work 30 years ago. When he worked as a pastor for Dolores Mission Church community in Los Angeles, there were eight rival gangs battling each other in the area, he said. He offered some of the gang members admission to a school he was building and helped find jobs for them to get them off the streets.

During the Los Angeles riots of 1992, police were surprised to find that the Dolores area was not as damaged as others, even though the community was the largest source of gang activity in Los Angeles at the time, he said. Boyle said he thinks this is because he employed gang members to remove graffiti from walls and landscape the area around the parish.

He said some investors were impressed with his efforts and offered ways to help create and fund Homeboy Industries, which now helps 15,000 people a year.

Boyle added he does not believe there is such a thing as saving someone else. He said helping others should be seen as an opportunity for mutual betterment.

Undergraduate Students Association Council President Danny Siegel said his office decided to help host Boyle because Boyle has spoken at UCLA before and received a positive response.

Siegel said he hopes the event will help students start a conversation about the reversal of stereotypes regarding incarcerated people.

Lea Le Rouzo, a first-year political science student who attended the event, said she is familiar with Boyle’s work and added she read his book “Tattoos on the Heart” for her Bible study’s mission trip.

Sarah Lovejoy, a first-year English student who also went to the event, said she has toured Homeboy Industries before and felt inspired to see its founder speak. She added she hopes the event will help the student body become more motivated to do nonprofit work in the future.

Christine Padilla Castanon, a first-year neuroscience student, said she learned about the event through the University Catholic Center. She was excited to see a Catholic event on campus because she is Catholic herself and wanted to listen to a pastor who she believes has a unique outlook on human potential.

Boyle said his takeaway message for students is to refrain from thinking they are better than anyone else. He added he hopes to encourage students to go into the margins of society and see how they can challenge themselves to become better people.

“By seeing (others’) wounds, you will be more aware of your own,” Boyle said. “We are all called to create a community of kinship.”

Re: L.a cali : white pastor/ founder of gang rehabilitation org(homeboy industries..hiring gang members)reversing negative sstereo

Posted: January 26th, 2017, 7:23 pm
by Quiet-Q
Q. wrote: During the Los Angeles riots of 1992, police were surprised to find that the Dolores area was not as damaged as others, even though the community was the largest source of gang activity in Los Angeles at the time, he said. Boyle said he thinks this is because he employed gang members to remove graffiti from walls and landscape the area around the parish.

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