Homeboy Industries, the largest gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, celebrated the 2022 Lo Máximo Awards and Fundraising Gala at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live on Saturday, March 12th. The gala was co-hosted by award-winning actor and activist, Jane Fonda, and her longtime friend and co-star, actress Lily Tomlin, and honored the brave individuals who came to Homeboy Industries and have courageously forged new pathways forward and the extraordinary people who have dedicated their lives’ work to giving back. Lo Máximo is Homeboy Industries’ largest fundraiser of the year. Special friends of the organization and long-time supporters joined honorees on the red-carpet.
This year, Lo Máximo honorees included Marisela Gutierrez, who came to Homeboy Industries in 2016 and began her journey of healing after facing cycles of incarceration and substance use. After completing the organization’ssignature, 18-month program and an internship at Project 180, a diversion and re-entry program for people involved in the criminal justice system – Ms. Gutierrez joined staff at Homeboy Industries and has thrived in her roles as co-worker, mentor, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend.
The gala also celebrated Joseph Raymond Lucero. Born into a family who had been gang-involved for three generations, Lucero struggled with addition alongside his parents, brothers and uncles and began his troubles with law enforcement as a child when he was just nine years old. As an adult, Lucero made the decision to change and break away from gang life after his son was born while he was incarcerated. His transformation journey was also impacted after he met Fr. Greg, who offered him the opportunity to utilize his experiences to bring awareness to the issues facing the formerly incarcerated and be an example that change is possible. Today, after making his debut as an actor in the 2006 film Gridiron Gang, Lucero stars in the hit FX series Mayans M.C., and has had roles in Dirt, ER, The Shield, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, The Closer, Shameless, S.W.A.T., FBI, and Blue Bloods.
Two-time Oscar-winning actor, producer, author, and activist – Jane Fonda was presented with the special Homeboy Kinship Award. With a career spanning over 50 years, more than 45 films and crucial work on behalf of women’s rights, Native Americans and the environment – as a member of the Homeboy Industries board, Fonda has been a tirelessly advocate for the organization and is co-chair of the team’s ambitious plans to expand and continue growing the number of women, men, youth, and families it serves. The seven-time Golden Globe® winner and recipient of the 2021 Cecil B. DeMille Award will appear in the seventh and final season of Grace & Frankie, Netflix’s longest running original series. Currently, Fonda also continues to lead the charge on Fire Drill Fridays, a national movement to protest government inaction on climate change.
The Homeboy Kinship Award was also given to philanthropist and legendary songwriter, Mike Stoller who as part ofthe songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller, composed hits for Elvis Presley, the Coasters, and many more. Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber & Stoller was nominated for seven Tony Awards and is the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history. In 2017, Mike founded the Music Heals program, a trauma-informed, therapeutically based music immersion experience designed for the formerly gang-involved men and women from Homeboy Industries.
Lo Máximo proceeds benefit Homeboy Industries, a 501(c)3 whose mission is to provide hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated people, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of their community. To learn more about the 2022 Lo Máximo Awards visit the event’s dedicated website here.