Originally broadcast at 1:00 p.m. ET Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
Jose Arellano was born in Duarte, CA, just east of Los Angeles. Growing up, he and his family moved around Los Angeles County a lot. Jose enjoyed and excelled in school and was placed in the Gifted and Talented Education Program at a young age, but his family was deeply involved in the gang culture, and at the age of 12 he got involved with gangs. His gang involvement eventually led to him going to jail for the first time at the age of 15. Cycling in and out of juvenile hall and prison, Jose heard about Homeboy Industries. Upon his release, he went to Homeboy for assistance in finding employment. After successfully completing Homeboy’s 18-month program, Jose moved through the ranks at Homeboy Industries to become an Organizational Leader. Now he is a member of Homeboy’s Management Team as Co-Director of Case Management and Navigation, where he strives to cultivate a culture of community and kinship within the organization. In 2018 Jose, along with Richard Cabral and Father Greg Boyle, received “The Dream Keeper Award” on behalf of the work of Homeboy Industries from I Have a Dream Los Angeles. In 2019 Jose served as moderator for “Cultivating Courage,” a profound conversation between two great spiritual leaders: Pema Chodron and Father Greg Boyle. Jose’s dreams and goals include working hard to provide a quality of life for his children that allows them to thrive, while also mentoring and supporting future leaders and continuing to cultivate a community of kinship at Homeboy. He says, “Demonstrate your Worth by seeing the Worth in Others.” Steve Avalos is Co-Director of Case Management and Navigation at Homeboy Industries. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, his life was entrenched in the gang lifestyle, from generation to generation experiencing many hardships. Steve’s imagination for his life seemed distant from his reality, until Father Greg Boyle wrote a letter of support on his behalf, offering Homeboy Industries as a place of refuge. Steve was then released from prison by Governor Brown, over eight years ago. He arrived at Homeboy Industries and his life has never been the same. Steve has been submerged in the Homeboy Culture of kinship, compassion, and love. Steve has been acknowledged by Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles for his service with the youth. He has also been to the California Capital with Father Greg Boyle, where they have discussed the need for change with Governor Newsom. Steve now serves as one of the leaders of Homeboy Industries, always prioritizing kinship, compassion, and love as the culture of healing.
This program is made possible by the Carnahan-Jackson Religious Lectureship.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.