The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness

Berggruen Institute Hosts Virtual Gathering with Father Gregory Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries

WHAT:The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness"
The Berggruen Institute, an independent think tank aimed at reshaping political and social institutions in the face of the great transformations of the 21ˢᵗ century, hosts a digital conversation with Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world, and the 2020 recipient of the $2.5-million Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Humanitarian Award. The Berggruen Institute supports this nonprofit and its mission to provide hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women to re-direct their lives.

During the conversation, Gregory Boyle will share what he has learned in three decades working with marginalized populations at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles—that love is the answer, community is the context, and tenderness is the connective tissue. Tenderness reflects the foundational notion that there is no us and them, only us. Kinship cannot happen without tenderness. Homeboy seeks to be what the world is invited to become and more so during this transitional moment in time. He will share how the beloved community of Homeboy aspires to continue the work as an anti-racist organization and, more and more, stand against the untruth of inferiority and supremacy of people.

This event is in partnership with Second Home, a co-working space and social business committed to supporting entrepreneurship.

To register, click here.
WHEN:Wednesday, August 19 at 11:00am PDT / 7:00pm GMT
WHO:Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world.

A native Angeleno and Jesuit priest, from 1986 to 1992 Father Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles that also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city.

Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called “decade of death” that began in the late 1980s and peaked at 1,000 gang-related killings in 1992. In the face of law enforcement tactics and criminal justice policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, he and parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treat gang members as human beings.

In 1988 they started what would eventually become Homeboy Industries, which employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to thousands of men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.

Father Boyle is the author of the 2010 New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. His new book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, was published in 2017.

He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, President Obama named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics. Currently, he serves as a committee member of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Economic and Job Recovery Task Force as a response to COVID-19.
About Berggruen Institute
The Berggruen Institute’s mission is to develop foundational ideas and shape political, economic, and social institutions for the 21st century. Providing critical analysis using an outwardly expansive and purposeful network, we bring together some of the best minds and most authoritative voices from across cultural and political boundaries to explore fundamental questions of our time. Our objective is enduring impact on the progress and direction of societies around the world.

About Homeboy Industries
Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community.

Each year over 10,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles come through Homeboy Industries’ doors in an effort to make a positive change. They are welcomed into a community of mutual kinship, love, and a wide variety of services ranging from tattoo removal to anger management and parenting classes.