Disrupting Violence, April 11th, 7:00-9:00pm, St. Barnabas Church, 10134 S. Longwood Drive

Doors open at 6:30

You Are My Neighbor; Disrupting Violence

Join the Southside at its best as our churches, non-profits, and community organizations come together to hear about the power of boundless compassion.  What might happen in our City if we remember that we all belong to one another? We’ll hear from Chicagoans who have disrupted the cycles of violence in our neighborhoods with simple, yet profound actions that are making an impact.  We’ll then hear from Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., author of 2 bestsellers and founder of Homeboy Industries in East Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention program in the world.  Father Boyle will share his experiences in the poor and violence-prone neighborhoods where he began his ministry 30 years ago which led to founding Homeboy. With Father Boyle as its leader, Homeboy Industries has grown from a small community effort to a $20 million thriving organization.

Parking will be very limited. Please consider walking, biking or alternative transportation.

You Are My Neighbor poster


Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J.

The Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. A native Angeleno, Father Boyle entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984. In 1986, he was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East LA.  At the time it was the poorest Catholic parish in the city, located between two large public housing projects with the highest concentration of gang activity in LA. He witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during what he has called "the decade of death" that began in the late 1980's. By 1988, having buried an ever growing number of young people killed in gang violence, Father Boyle and parish and community members sought to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth by developing positive opportunities for them, including establishing an alternative school and day care program, and seeking out legitimate employment. These efforts were the start of Homeboy Industries, now the largest gang intervention program in the world with a $20 million dollar annual budget. Read more about Homeboy and Fr. Boyle at www.homeboyindustries.org

Fr. David Kelly

Fr. David Kelly has worked for over thirty years as a chaplain in Cook County Jail and Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. In 2000 he, along with other members of his religious congregation, began the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR) to reach to create a place for those who have been impacted by violence and conflict. The Precious Blood Center of Reconciliation reaches out to the one who has been harmed, the one who has done harm and the community. PBMR also strives to be a resource to other groups and communities who seek reconciliation. David is also active in Peacemaking Circle training. He received his B.S. in Bio-Chemistry from St. Joseph’s College, a Masters of Divinity, Masters of Arts in Cross Cultural Studies and a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min) from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. His doctoral thesis is entitled: Responding to Violence among Urban Youth: a Restorative Approach. He has been trained and certified as a mediator from DePaul University and has received training in the restorative practice of Peacemaking Circles. He has published articles and spoken on reconciliation, restorative justice and jail/detention ministry.


Jahmal Cole

Jahmal Cole is a tireless volunteer and role model. An advocate for education reform in Chicago, Jahmal is passionate about improving schools and is a frequent speaker at colleges in the Chicagoland area. Jahmal is the author of The Torch of Decency: Rekindling the Spirit of Community Organizations, “Athletes & MC’s” and “50 Excuses: to not Follow your Dreams.” Recognized for his contributions to the community, he is the recipient of countless awards which you can check out at https://www.formyblock.org/our-team/. He was named a 2018 Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine.  He was appointed as honorary chair of State of Black Chicago Steering Committee by Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court and named one of Huffington Post’s 15 Inspiring Chicagoans. Most recently, he has successfully launched a groundbreaking social initiative entitled “My Block, My Hood, My City, where he takes teenagers from underserved Chicago communities on City Wide explorations.


Tamar Manasseh

In 2015 Rabbinical student Tamar Manasseh founded MASK , a grassroots organization to fight gun violence in her own neighborhood.  MASK (Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings) was established as a way to put eyes on the streets, interrupt violence and crime, and teach children to grow up as friends rather than enemies. A group of caring individuals in the community began to simply hang out on the block, cook food, and emanate love. The presence was felt. People began to notice neighbors were watching out for each other, and it was contagious. Now this method of injecting good vibes in troubled areas is catching on in more communities.  The primary mission of MASK is to build stronger communities through a focus on: Violence Prevention, Food Insecurity, and housing. Additionally, MASK partners to ensure that community members have access to necessary city services, opportunities for education & professional skills growth, and economic development.


Before the event!

In anticipation of the big event we’ll be having “pop-up” events hosted by community leaders throughout February and March.

Film Screenings

Screenings of “G-Dog,” the 2012 documentary about Father Boyle directed by Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock. The entertaining and inspiring film tells the story of how Fr. Boyle – a Jesuit priest also known as G-Dog – became an expert on gangs and “disrupting” violence.

  • Sunday, February 24 at 3 p.m., St. Barnabas Church Hall, 10134 S Longwood Drive.
  • Wednesday, Mar. 13 at 7 p.m., Christ the King, Gleeson Center, 9235 S Hamilton.

Book Clubs

Pop book clubs will meet to discuss Fr. Boyle’s “Tattoos on the Heart,” which was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly and received the PEN Center USA 2011 Creative Nonfiction Award.

  • BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr., led by Rev. Ben Heimach-Snipes, pastor of Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, Wed., Feb. 27, 10 a.m.;
  • Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9401 S. Oakley, led by Pastor Jennie English-Dumont (Bethlehem) and Father Bill Malloy (St. Barnabas), Sun., Mar. 10, 3 p.m.;
  • Beverly Yoga Center, 1917 W. 103rd St., with Carly Carney, Sun., Mar. 31, 3:30 p.m., and
  • Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, 5114 S. Elizabeth St., April 6, 10:30 a.m.
  • Copies of the book as well as study guide for personal book clubs are available at Bookies, 10324 S. Western.

Discussion Series

Bethlehem Lutheran Church will explore the theme “Boundless” at midweek Lenten series Wednesdays, Mar. 6 through Apr. 10, 7 p.m., discussing boundless compassion, boundless hope, and boundless worth through dramatic presentations, worship and small group studies.