La Jolla Playhouse Hosts Free Virtual World-Premiere Launch Party for Towards Belonging

Join the La Jolla Playhouse virtually on Saturday, May 1 at 11 a.m. PT for the launch of its latest world-premiere Digital Without Walls (WOW) piece, “Towards Belonging.” The dance film was produced in association with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation’s Arts Park @ Chollas Creek.

The La Jolla Playhouse and the Jacobs Center are especially excited to launch the piece – featuring a team of all Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) artists – on the first day of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month. Hosted by former Playhouse Leadership Council Chair Bennett Peji and his daughter Viviana, this special virtual event will feature a Q&A with “Towards Belonging” creators choreographer Anjanette Maraya-Ramey and videographer Eboni “Eb” Harvey.

Tune in for a lively discussion of the film’s themes, such as intersectionality of identity, being “othered,” self-affirmation and dismantling stereotypes, especially around the film’s setting in Southeast San Diego. The event will also touch on the filmmaking process and how the artists’ powerful personal stories influenced the movement and music. Learn more in The San Diego Union-Tribune’s recent story.

Learn more about La Jolla Playhouse Digital Without Walls (WOW) Projects on our blog post.

To join the free watch party for “Towards Belonging”go to: bit.ly/May1WatchParty, or watch the film any time after at bit.ly/towardsbelonging.

Jacobs Center’s work is deeply rooted in community engagement. We collaborate with residents, local leaders, cultural and other area organizations for everything we do, from neighborhood development to Diamond District events and programs.

The Jacobs Center would love to partner with you for a future program or event! For more information or to get started, please contact Selina Hudgins Castillo at schudgins@jacobscenter.org. To learn more about our wide range of outdoor and spacious indoor venues, visit our new venues website page at www.jacobscenter.org/venues. For general venue booking, please contact Alvenesia Sims at asims@jacobscenter.org


“Design Your Future” Panel Recap & Internship Opportunities

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, together with the San Diego Architectural Foundation and as part of Open House San Diego, hosted “Design Your Future: Careers that Change Communities” virtually on March 5, 2021. 

The panel featured a diverse group of architecture, engineering and construction professionals who talked about their work and their career paths including: 

  • BNBuilders Construction Executive Carmen D. Vann
  • Rick Engineering Company Principal Edgar Camerino
  • Sadfie Rabines Architects Associate Principal Alfonso Barragan
  • Woodbury University Architecture Student Kayleigh Cornejo

Moderated by Eric Henson, policy advisor for City Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe’s office, this panel was an opportunity for middle and high school students to hear from and ask questions of professionals working on projects throughout San Diego and in neighborhoods like Southeastern San Diego and Barrio Logan. It is Jacobs Center and San Diego Architectural Foundation’s hope that conversations like these will provide new pathways and access points for young people to explore careers that provide professional growth opportunities and the power to positively shape communities physically, socially, and economically. 

To watch the panel click here

Internship/Mentorship Opportunities:

City of San Diego: This is a 10-week remote mentorship opportunity for youth ages 16 to 24. The interns will be collaborating with staff in the deployment of 5G wireless infrastructure in addition to other related utility projects. The deadline to apply is May 1. 

San Diego Mesa Alliance: Kindergarten through college students will receive assistance to help them succeed in math and science studies. Participants will be given access to scholarships, tutoring, academic advising and STEM accelerator programs. Applications open May 10 and close June 6.

The San Diego American Planning Association: The Young Planners Group provides aspiring city planners with an awareness of scholarships, career and internship opportunities, in addition to networking and social opportunities relative to planning in San Diego. Contact sdapaypg@gmail.com if you want to be a part of this opportunity.  


Jacobs Center Statement: Justice & Accountability in Derek Chauvin Trial

May 25, 2020 – the day of George Floyd’s death – ignited heightened fear, hurt, sadness and anger as a grave act of injustice and tragedy. Its impact was heavy all over the country; we felt it greatly in San Diego.

Our country has rules for justice. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was tried under those rules and found guilty of murdering George Floyd. May this be a critical moment in our country’s history when justice and accountability take root and are applied equally to everyone.

As acts of violence and hate toward people of color continue at alarming rates, we must work toward ending systemic racism – learning from our diverse community, examining our own biases and uplifting each other. It is ours to achieve, together.

-Reginald Jones, President and CEO, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation


Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation Stands with AAPI Community + Resources Page

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center send our condolences to the loved ones and victims targeted and killed in Georgia. We are saddened and hurt by the fear the Asian and Pacific Islander community is experiencing, including an uptick in violence and hate crimes in the past year.

We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community, and we will do our part to share and amplify our community partners who are providing resources for the local Asian community. We call on all San Diegans to learn more and act against all forms of hate, racism and xenophobia to protect our neighbors and make our community welcoming to all.

If you have any resources or organizations you’d like us to add to the list below for us to share, please email info@jacobscenter.org.

Resources for AAPI Community:

Support San Diego AAPI Organizations:

Learn More:


March Diamond Snapshot: COVID-19 Vaccine Sites, Architecture Career Panel and Health Fair!

Learn more about what’s going on in your community this March by reading the Diamond Snapshot e-newsletter, highlighting a COVID-19 vaccine site locator, an architecture career panel, various financial resources and more! You can subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter today and learn more resources for you and community updates – click below for more information!

>> Click here to read the full e-newsletter & subscribe <<


Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation Growing Community Partnerships in 2021

New Community Board Member, Staff with Proven Dedication to Southeastern San Diego Join Nonprofit

SAN DIEGO (March 1, 2021) – Southeastern San Diego has much to offer – its passionate residents, businesses and organizations, community spirit and culture. Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation remains dedicated to this vibrant community and growing partnerships, projects and resources in 2021.

To strengthen these efforts, Jacobs Center has announced new board member Louie Nguyen, CFA, who is dedicated to economic development in Southeastern San Diego; promotion of Christie Marcella to executive director to build on Jacobs Center’s critical work; and new director of development operations and institutional advancement Selina Castillo Hudgins to bring attention to philanthropic support needed for neighborhood projects.

“Our mission has always been about a thriving community envisioned and realized by its residents. These key team members have a proven passion for this mission and have already made an impact in Southeastern San Diego,” said Reginald Jones, president and CEO of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. “In partnership with others, we continue to prioritize the entire community through physical development, economic opportunities, neighborhood resources and cultural arts. Our approach is simple and grounded in equity and social justice.”

Louie Nguyen, CFA, is the Jacobs Center’s newest community board member. He joins the board’s two additional community members, Paul Robinson and Juan Carlos Hernandez, as important voices at the organization’s board level to lead and advise. Nguyen’s commitment to Southeastern San Diego is clear in his current role as Chief Investment Officer at Mission Driven Finance, a private impact investment boutique that provides opportunities to easily invest in the community to solve social pain points.

Through Mission Driven Finance, he recently played a key role in bringing Access Youth Academy, a nonprofit organization that helps train youth to be first-generation college students through the sport of squash – all at no cost to the area. The campus will also offer recreation spaces and meeting rooms for the general community to use for free and is set to open this summer.

Nguyen is also excited to bring his nearly 25 years as a skilled investor to the CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center Advocacy Council, helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and jobs within San Diego through the region’s first low-to-moderate income and diversity-focused business accelerator program. The program recently held its third Union Bank Start-Up Pitch Competition, awarding $15,000 in business grants to three diverse women-owned businesses.

Christie Marcella has been promoted to executive director of the organization. In her previous position as community and economic development officer, Marcella spent much of her focus on building and strengthening partnerships with local organizations on their home turf, intuitively fostering a collaborative environment of shared resources, including the Jacobs Center’s meeting spaces, communications expertise, and regional relationships. She is often heard asking, “How can we do something now that will help our organizations 10 years from now?”

Attentive and responsive to supporting residents directly impacted by COVID-19,  Marcella worked to establish the Southeastern San Diego COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund with The San Diego Foundation, which supported 33 nonprofits to directly help the community during the pandemic, and set up multiple and weekly food drive-thru events in the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center parking lot. She also serves as co-chair of the Economic Activities Working Group for the San Diego Promise Zone and serves on Mayor Todd Gloria’s BackToWorkSD workforce development group. 

Selina Castillo Hudgins is the Jacobs Center’s new director of development operations and institutional advancement. Hudgins’ passion for the mission is finding ways to increase philanthropic support for Southeastern San Diego that benefits the community for the long-term. Hired for her proven fund development experience, she has a successful background in determining organization needs, developing partner programs for community growth and strengthening fundraising efforts.

In this newly created position, Hudgins will collaborate to grow key programs like the Business Resource Center, cultural arts partnerships, community engagement opportunities and general operations support. She will also be leading Jacobs Center’s communications to continue interacting and updating the general community, partners and donors.

To learn more about how the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation supports community development and partnerships in Southeastern San Diego, visit jacobscenter.org. For sponsorship and program support opportunities, please contact Hudgins at schudgins@jacobscenter.org.

About Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation

Founded in 1995, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is focused on building communities and lifting lives. As a creative catalyst and incubator, the Jacobs Center works with the community to revitalize Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods. This means transforming nearly 60 acres into sustainable developments that provide residents with greater access to resources and amenities that improve their quality of life. Additionally, the Jacobs Center works with community organizations and partners to increase residents’ economic opportunities, leadership skills and educational success. Learn more at jacobscenter.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.


February Diamond Snapshot: Free Flu Shots, SD Museum Month, Lunar New Year Celebration and more!

Learn more about what’s going on in your community this February by reading the Diamond Snapshot e-newsletter, highlighting free flu shot clinics, emergency rental assistance and various medical and financial resources and more! You can subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter today and learn more resources for you and community updates – click below for more information!

>> Click here to read the full e-newsletter & subscribe <<


APRIL DIAMOND SNAPSHOT: COVID-19 Vaccine Sites, After School Care at the Jacobs Center and More!

Check out what’s happening in your community this month by reading April’s Diamond Snapshot e-newsletter. From access to COVID-19 vaccine site locators, AAPI community resources and FREE programs for teens, stay updated on the latest happenings in the Southeastern San Diego Community by subscribing today!

>> Click here to read the full e-newsletter & subscribe <<


Help Available to Pay Past-Due Rent and Utilities Due to COVID-19 Hardship

A new program can help pay past-due, unpaid rent and utilities for qualifying San Diego City residents with low income who experience financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The application from the City of San Diego COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program is available at covidassistance.sdhc.org

For questions or help with the application, call 619-535-6921 or contact one of these community-based organizations:

 The San Diego Housing Commission administers the COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program for the City of San Diego.



Versión en español a continuación.

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation has opened up the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center’s Celebration Hall for the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA to operate a Part-Day Enrichment program for Southeastern San Diego youth ages 5-14 years old. Financial assistance is available to help eligible families through Child Development Associates and the YMCA of San Diego County’s Childcare Resource Service. Financial assistance is also available through the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA’s scholarship program. Families should apply regardless of ability to pay!

This program is providing neighborhood families and youth a safe, social and educational place to be Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m.
This program includes:

  • A daily meal
  • Activities like arts & crafts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and literacy education

This program is made possible in partnership with Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA.

Funding assistance is available for eligible families based on gross income (before taxes), family size and other needs. You can check if you are eligible through:

From there, you can get your children registered for the part-day Enrichment Program at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation! For more information and assistance registering, please call 619-264-0144.

Visit www.ymcasd.org/jackierobinson for more information or contact cpena@ymcasd.org for any questions.

¿Necesitan sus hijos (de 5 a 14 años) un lugar divertido y seguro para ir después de la escuela durante el día? ¡Regístrelos para elPrograma de Enriquecimiento de YMCA de medio día en el Centro Joe & Vi Jacobs!

Este programa ofrece a las familias y a los jóvenes del vecindario un lugar seguro, social y educativo para estar de lunes a viernes, de 2 a 6 p.m. Incluye una comida diaria y actividades como artes y manualidades, STEM (ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería y matemáticas) y alfabetización. educación.

Se anima a todas las familias a que presenten su solicitud independientemente de su capacidad de pago. La asistencia financiera está disponible para familias elegibles según los ingresos brutos (antes de impuestos), el tamaño de la familia y otras necesidades. Puede verificar si es elegible a través de:

Este programa es posible en asociación con Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation y Jackie Robinson Family YMCA.
Para obtener más información y asistencia para registrarse, por favor llame al 619-264-0144.

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