On the morning of February 17, 2023 the Repowered team had the honor of hosting our first ever in-person fundraising event, with close to 150 people joining us at the University of St Thomas Opus College of Business to hear from two of our Repowered colleagues and Father Greg Boyle.
It was a deeply moving and inspirational event. As one of our attendees said, “I knew this was going to be powerful; I knew it was going to give me the chills a bit – but I didn’t expect to cry after just a few minutes of the program!” Their sentiment was shared as so many across the room were moved to tears after hearing the impact Repowered had on Jen and David’s lives, two of our colleagues.
Their stories shared similarities while being truly unique to their individual lives. They shared that they both had spent time in prison, both were scared of their barriers to employment, both thought they wore the completely wrong clothes to the Repowered interview, and both were shocked when they were offered the job. Each of them emphasized that Repowered didn’t just hire them, but invested in them. As Father Greg shared, “We stand with the demonized so the demonizing will stop – stand with the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away. That’s what Repowered does.”
We were so lucky to have Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest who founded Homeboy Industries, the largest gang rehabilitation and intervention program in Los Angeles, join us. He taught us the word “acatamiento,” which means to have compassionate awe. He reminded us that a healthy community is when people stand in awe of what others have to carry and not judge how they carry it.
It’s a lesson we’ll take with us. As Father Greg said, “This breakfast was never going to be a place you go to, but always going to be a place to go from.” We’ll go from breakfast remembering to hold compassionate awe for those around us.
We invite you to move forward with acatamiento – and as you are able, support Repowered so that we can continue this work.