In the 1980s, Los Angeles was struggling to deal with escalating gang violence and gang membership. Boyle Heights had more gang members per capita than any other place in the United States. Around that time Father Greg Boyle realised that - with the help of many people in his parish - he needed to provide jobs and education as alternatives to the gangs and the senseless violence they create.
In 1988 they started a small job program which became Homeboy Industries in 2001. It has since grown to become one of the largest, most comprehensive and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry programs in the US
Father Greg Boyle is visiting Canberra, Melbourne and Strathfield campuses in lecture weeks 2 and 3. All staff are invited to attend.