EVENT: Father Gregory Boyle, nationally acclaimed gang interventionist and New York Times best-selling author, will deliver the keynote address at the fourth annual Orange County Gang Intervention Conference. Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit economic development enterprise in Los Angeles and the nation’s largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and societal re-entry program. He will receive UC Irvine’s 2013 Citizen Peacebuilding Award.

WHEN/WHERE: 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, UC Irvine’s Bren Events Center (bldg. 901, grid D6 on campus map)

INFORMATION:  The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided. Media planning to attend should contact Heather Ashbach at 949-824-1577 or hashbach@uci.edu. Public participants should register online at http://ocdegangconference.eventbrite.com. Parking is available for $10 in the Mesa Parking Structure.

HIGHLIGHTS: The plenary session with Boyle and other speakers will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon. After-lunch workshops will feature current knowledge, practices and resources in gang prevention, intervention and societal re-entry.

BACKGROUND: Father Gregory Boyle founded Homeboy Bakery to provide rival gang members training, work experience and the opportunity to work side by side. The bakery grew into Homeboy Industries, which comprises Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroidery, Homeboy & Homegirl Merchandise, Homeboy Diner, Homeboy Farmers Markets and Homegirl Cafe. Boyle is the author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, which has been honored by the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association, PEN Center USA, Publishers Weekly and the Goodreads Choice Awards.

The conference is supported by the Orange County Department of Education’s Safe Schools & Support Services unit, the UC Irvine School of Social Sciences’ Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, UC Irvine’s Office of Civic & Community Engagement, and the University of Southern California. Prior UCI Citizen Peacebuilding Award winners include the Dalai Lama, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, and Kenyan environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.