Homeboy Industries has been chosen as The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation as the 2020 Humanitarian Prize recipient and will receive $2.5 million in unrestricted funding. As the world’s largest annual humanitarian award, the Prize is presented to a nonprofit organization judged to have made extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering.
To date, the Hilton Foundation has awarded $36.5 million to recipients of the Prize. Homeboy Industries joins the roster of 24 Prize Laureates, including METAdrasi, SHOFCO, icddr,b and The Task Force for Global Health, selected by an independent, international jury.
“The Jury’s selection of Homeboy Industries as the recipient of the 2020 Hilton Humanitarian Prize speaks to the power of standing with people who have been systemically marginalized, creating space for them to heal and invest in their future, with the intention of ending the socio-economic inequities that impact communities.,” said Peter Laugharn, president and CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation states. “A tremendous example of ground-breaking humanitarian work right here in Los Angeles, its community-led approach has spawned and supported a global network of over 300 organizations. Homeboy Industries embodies the spirit of the Prize and the work of the Foundation – focusing on equity, resilience and dignity – in an inspiring way.”
Founded in 1988 by Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., Homeboy Industries was formed with the goal of improving the lives of former gang members in East Los Angeles. At that time, Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J. was a pastor of the Dolores Mission Church, the most impoverished Catholic parish in the city, along with Aliso Village and Pico Gardens, the two largest public housing projects west of the Mississippi. They also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the country. While law enforcement tactics of suppression and criminal justice policies of mass incarceration were the prevailing means to deal with gang violence, Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J. saw young people who deserved a chance and has since worked to change the way the world treats those who have been systematically marginalized.
“All of us at Homeboy Industries are profoundly humbled by the Hilton Foundation’s recognition,” Homeboy Industries Founder Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J. said. “Their validation of our work of 32 years strengthens our resolve to create a community of kinship and healing in Los Angeles. This acknowledgment helps us all to move past ‘survival of the fittest’ and allow the thriving of the nurtured.”
Today, Homeboy Industries has evolved into the world’s largest gang intervention, rehab and re-entry program, and is dedicated to providing hope, training and support to individuals, which in turn makes a positive impact in those individuals’ families and communities. Homeboy Industries’ re-entry program focuses on helping participants heal from complex trauma though the delivery of wrap around social services rooted in a culture of kinship and tenderness. Additionally, the program builds work readiness skills for participants through employment opportunities in nine social enterprises which it owns and operates.
The invaluable support that Homeboy Industries has received from both Los Angeles and California State government officials have been instrumental to the success and survival of Homeboy Industries and its community.
“Homeboy Industries is in the business of second chances, helping thousands of Angelenos — including survivors of mass incarceration and systemic racism — find meaningful healing, job training, and community,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I applaud the Hilton Foundation for recognizing Homeboy Industries’ transformative work in Los Angeles and around the world, and I extend my warmest congratulations to Father Boyle and the entire Homeboy family.”
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and taking necessary safety precautions into consideration, the in-person 2020 Conrad N. Hilton Symposium and Prize Ceremony has been replaced with virtual gatherings, which will take place online throughout the year, and will be available to all who want to tune in.
Each year, the Hilton Foundation reviews nominations from notable nonprofits throughout the world, and an independent, international panel of distinguished jurors makes the final selection after a rigorous vetting process. The following individuals served on the 2020 Hilton Humanitarian Prize jury: The Right Honourable Helen Clark; Leymah Gbowee; Hawley Hilton McAuliffe; Her Majesty Queen Noor; Mark Rosenberg, M.D., M.P.P.; Zainab Salbi; Ann M. Veneman; Dr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León.
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