Now in its twenty-fifth year, the $2.5 million prize recognizes a nonprofit organization judged to have made extraordinary contributions to the alleviation of human suffering, as determined by an independent international jury. Founded in 1988 by Fr. Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries is a gang intervention, rehab, and re-entry program that works to change how the systemically marginalized are treated. Through its re-entry program, the organization provides wraparound services rooted in a culture of kinship and works to help participants heal from complex trauma. The organization also provides work readiness training and employment opportunities through nine social enterprises that it owns and operates.
"All of us at Homeboy Industries are profoundly humbled by the Hilton Foundation's recognition," said Boyle. "Their validation of our work of thirty-two 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."
"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 Hilton Foundation president and CEO Peter Laugharn. "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 three hundred 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."
(Photo credit: Homeboy Industries)