Dear friends, partners and supporters of CommUniverCity,
In 2017-18, CommUniverCity celebrated its “lucky’ 13th anniversary as we continued our innovative neighborhood-centered work in low-income Central San Jose communities. Our efforts brought together faculty and students in over 24 academic departments at San Jose State University, five City of San Jose Departments, and over sixty k-12 school partners, corporate sponsors, community organizations, and neighborhood associations. In April, 275 CommUniverCity fans gathered at the Roosevelt Community Center in San Jose to celebrate our combined achievements. We had a lot to be thankful for.
Two urban planning classes led by Rick Kos and Kevin Fang received commendations from the San Jose Mayo and Council for their participatory community planning work with the Northside Neighborhood in Central San Jose. U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren also recognized CommUnvierCity for its longstanding support of community action and for its impact in “increasing the vibrancy and health of our communities”.
And while all of our projects showcase the best of SJSU and the community coming together, several are particularly notable for their impact and timeliness. Assistant Professor of Political Science Mary Currin-Percival’s Get Out the Vote students were able to register over 200 new voters just in time for the 2018 primary elections. Associate Professor John Delacruz’s Advertising Campaign students took on Burnett Middle School as a pro bono client, creating five different strategies to help the school rebrand itself in trying times. Urban and Regional Planning Department faculty Rick Kos and Kevin Fang led their students in Community Planning for Delmas Park. For this community, the class engaged in wide-ranging effort to document and build community in a pocket-sized neighborhood located in the shadow of Google’s planned urban village. Communication Studies faculty member, Sarah McGaffey inspired students and audience members alike with her class’ Social Issues Theater performance. Finally, mentored by Lucia Capdevila, a group of SJSU engineering students calling themselves the Space Spartans were winners in a national NASA design and science education competition.
This year has been marked by unusually divisive social unrest over issues including race, gun violence, immigration, the environment, and unequal economic opportunity. In times like these, we can take heart in knowing that collaborations like CommUniverCity continue to thrive and unite us in common cause.