Authors: Marisela Castro, Communications Specialist; Katherine Cushing, Executive Director
Engage, learn, and build. Those are the three core pillars that inspire students, faculty, residents, and partners to continuously build social capital in the local community. Every year, we acknowledge and recognize the hard work of all those who work with us in common cause to design and implement our community-building projects at Celebrating Partnerships. This past Wednesday’s gathering marked CommUniverCity’s 13th anniversary with 275 supporters in attendance. The event provided us with an opportunity to demonstrate our sincere appreciation of everyone’s efforts and expose newcomers to a wide range of CommUniverCity projects in one place.
During the event, attendees roamed the room, learning about the impetus and impact of over a dozen community-based projects at interactive learning stations. SJSU student volunteers from Communications Studies, Business Marketing, Advertising, Justice Studies, Health Science, Environmental Studies, Engineering, and Urban Planning curated posters and explained how they applied their classroom learning to support projects in the community, which ranged from identifying unsafe street crossings to inspiring k-6 students to learn more about astronomy.
This year’s lineup of projects included:
- Get Out the Vote
- Record Clearance Project
- Advertising Campaigns
- Community Planning
- Delmas Park & Northside Assessments
- Engineering in Action & Space Spartans
- Growing Sustainably
- Coyote Meadows
- Park Activation
- Spartan Keyes Egg Hunt
- U.N. Spring Festival
- Accelerating 3rd Grade Literacy
- Writing Partners
- Friends of Five Wounds Village
- Friends of Five Wounds Trail
- Safe and Green Halloween
Dozens of lively conversations took place between attendees and student, faculty, and partner volunteers who guided guests through their projects. Another highlight included a raffle where lucky winners received prizes provided by University Advancement, Santa Clara County’s Consumer & Environmental Protection Agency, SJSU Athletics, and Associated Students’ Transportation Solutions.
Near the end of the evening, San Jose District 3 Councilmember, Raul Peralez, and San Jose State University’s Associate Vice President of Student and Faculty Success, Stacy Gleixner, recognized the hard work of CommUniverCity and congratulated awardees on being selected as CommUniverCitans of the Year. The three award recipients exemplify community leadership and long-term commitment to building great neighborhoods in San Jose. And to top off our gathering, the office of United States Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren commended CommUniverCity for its longstanding supporting of community action and for its impact in increasing the vibrancy and health of Central San Jose.
|Community Leader:||David Vieira, Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace|
|SJSU Faculty:||Michael Oye, Biomedical, Chemical, & Materials Engineering at SJSU|
|City of San José:||Julie Edmonds-Mares, Former Deputy City Manager|
Beyond the festivities, Celebrating Partnerships served to cement the foundation of strong relationships that already exist within the community and create the framework for new and stronger projects yet to be established, putting the ideas of social justice and civic engagement into action.
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. -Cesar Chavez