For the third installment in the Urban Lecture Series, “The Space Between,” hosts Center for Transforming Mission, Immanuel Presbyterian, Northwest Leadership Foundation, Pacific Lutheran University’s Center for Community Engagement and Service, St. Leo Parish and Urban Grace are proud to present founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Father Greg Boyle, for one lecture on Friday, October 12th, 7:30pm at Urban Grace (902 Market Street). The lecture is free, but tickets are required. Sign up for your e-tickets below.

A nationally renowned speaker and author, Father Boyle is an acknowledged expert on gangs, intervention and re-entry and today serves on the U.S. Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Task Force. Homeboy Industries traces its roots to “Jobs For A Future” (JFF), created in 1988 by Boyle at Dolores Mission in Los Angeles to address the escalating problems of gang-involved youth. What started as an elementary school and day care program has now expanded to several nonprofit social enterprises including Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Diner, Homeboy Farmers Markets, Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroider, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, and Homegirl Café & Catering. Boyle’s first book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, was released in 2010 and named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly.

The goal of the Urban Lecture Series is to model conversations that build bridges of understanding and redemptive action between faith communities and the public square. We do this on behalf of those who are most vulnerable. We recognize that our culture is organized to polarize and push us to the edges of important issues, leaving the center vacant. Edges are softened when centers are occupied with grace. This is our hope – to engage life’s most demanding questions and the people pushed to the edges, by finding centers that hold.

We deal with topics related to faith, ethics and public life. Our presenters are people who have demonstrated the ability to speak to life’s most demanding questions with grace, humor and prophetic insight.

Each lecture is unique in its structure based on the availability of the presenter(s), and the material. However, each lecture is designed to be a moveable feast involving catholic, protestant and other faith venues in the city as well as hosts who stand between traditions. The venues we select reflect our commitment to building bridges across the accidental and artificial divides the so easily separate us.

About Father Greg Boyle

Gregory J. Boyle, S.J.

Founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries.

Fr. Gregory Boyle was born in Los Angeles and is one of eight children. He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He received his BA in English from Gonzaga University, an MA in English from Loyola Marymount University and advanced theology degrees from The Weston School of Theology and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

He has taught at Loyola High School in Los Angeles; was chaplain in the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom prison and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1986 where he served through 1992. Homeboy Industries was born in 1988 and is now the largest gang intervention, re-hab and re-entry program in the United States.

Fr. Boyle is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book, “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.”  His debut book has been honored by SCIBA (Southern California Indie Booksellers Association), Pen USA, Publishers Weekly, and Goodreads Choice Awards.

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.

About the Hosts

The Urban Lecture Series is hosted by a small group of faith communities and local organizations that are committed to seek peace in Tacoma.

  • Center for Transforming Mission:  Mobilizes people from all walks of life to love and serve the urban poor and make tangible Jesus’ vision in Luke 4:18-19 in ways that bring peace.
  • Immanuel Presbyterian: Immanuel Presbyterian Church (IPC) is a Christian community where all are welcome. IPC is committed to the life of our city and acts out that commitment as it works with the arts community and works on behalf of those who are vulnerable and in need. We are a diverse community that values relationship and nourishes the heart and mind through music, silence, hands on mission and thoughtful reflection.
  • Northwest Leadership Foundation:  Exists to encourage, strengthen and develop leadership for the spiritual and social renewal of the city.
  • PLU’s Center for Community Engagement and Service: Fosters a culture of community engagement among students, faculty and staff through reflective academic service learning, meaningful co-curricular service and mutually beneficial community partnerships.
  • St. Leo Parish:  A Jesuit parish in the Catholic tradition centered in the Eucharist, enriched by diversity, committed to Gospel values, seeking to be Christ’s servant presence in the world, wishing to welcome the gifts of all in our quest for peace, justice, and non-violence.
  • Urban Grace Church:  An ecumenical church in downtown Tacoma that serves the city and its people by proclaiming the Good News of God’s love, grace, and justice revealed in Jesus Christ.

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