Community leadership in a city as diverse as San Jose is crucial in ensuring inclusivity and representation. CommUniverCity’s Community Leadership Program allows the voices of emerging community leaders in our Downtown San Jose service area to be heard.
This program is divided into five stages throughout the course of seven weeks. The focus is to help participants develop their leadership skills and increase neighborhood engagement. They are allowed to plan ways to implement improvements in their communities.
In the first stage, participants were allowed to highlight issues in their community that they felt needed to be addressed. The second stage consisted of participants in the program branching out to other community members and discussing their ideas with them. Live interviews took place in the third stage and the fourth stage was dedicated to analyzing data from the findings of the interviews. During the final stage of the program, the participants were given the opportunity to present their data to experts in urban planning. Some of the topics they presented included housing, education, and employment. Experts from each of the fields presented were invited to listen to the presentations on a panel. They then gave the participants recommendation for the next steps of their community improvement plans.
In the past, participants of the program have communicated that it helped them speak up and be more confident in their opinions on community issues. It also allowed them to branch out to different types of people in their community and feel more comfortable reaching out to people of different backgrounds. As mentioned before, this is especially important considering the diversity of San Jose. All of the participants also reported speaking up in public on neighborhood discussions because of their workshop training. During this spring’s CLP graduation, community members enthusiastically expressed their desire for more programs that are similar to be available for other community members.