The Southside Catholic Peace and Justice Committee, in coordination with local organizations and faith groups, will host the next You Are My Neighbor event, “Disrupting Violence,” Thurs., Apr. 11, 7 p.m., St. Barnabas Church, 10134 S. Longwood Dr. The presentation features nationally known speaker Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., author and founder of Homeboy Industries, along with local Chicagoans working on anti-violence initiatives.
Coordinators of the event will host film screenings, pop-up book clubs and discussions leading up to the You Are My Neighbor event; the events are open to all.
Fr. Boyle is the author of the New York Times-bestseller “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion” and founder of Homeboy Industries in East Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention program in the world. With Father Boyle as its leader, Homeboy Industries has grown from a small community effort to a $20 million organization that provides opportunities for young people in poor and isolated neighborhoods to change the direction of their lives through resources that “disrupt” the effects of past violence and trauma. In his Apr. 11 presentation, he will talk about his experiences in the poor and violence-prone neighborhoods where he began his ministry 30 years ago which led to founding Homeboy Industries.
Local speakers who will share information about work that is being done on the South Side are Fr. David Kelly, founder of Precious Blood Ministries of Reconciliation; Jahmal Cole who’s organization “My Block, My Hood, My City” was founded on the idea that you can change lives by taking teens from under-resourced communities on explorations around the City; and Tamar Manasseh, who founded “Mothers Against Senseless Killing” in Englewood because she knew that when individuals join together, their many voices are amplified as one.
Leading up to the event, You Are My Neighbor coordinators invite area residents to participate in these and other events:
“G-Dog,” the 2012 documentary about Father Boyle directed by Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock, will be screened Wed., Mar. 13, 7 p.m., Christ the King, Gleeson Center, 9235 S Hamilton. 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.
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. Discussions are open to all and will be held at: Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9401 S. Oakley, led by Pastor Jennie English-Dumont (Bethlehem Church) and Father Bill Malloy (St. Barnabas Church), 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. Copies of the book as well as study guide for personal book clubs are available at Bookies, 10324 S. Western.
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. “At a time when the divisions between people seem to be growing stronger and more painful, Father Boyle’s work reminds us that God calls us to boundless love. We hope to explore practical ways to build peace by ‘standing with’ one another in solidarity and love,” Pastor English-Dumont said. More details can be found on the congregation’s web site, www.bethlehem-chicago.org.
Visit www.youaremyneighbor.info for details and events.