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Diamond Spotlight: The San Diego Asian Pacific Islander Culinary Fusion Festival celebrates API culture and healthy eats in Southeastern San Diego.

Our Diamond Spotlight series celebrates the Jacobs Center’s arts, culture, and creative placemaking partners who bring their engaging performances and events to Southeastern San Diego. This week we shine our spotlight on Operation Samahan and the San Diego Asian Pacific Islander (SDAPI) Community Health Network. We hear from Fe Seligman who is responsible for program and fund development for Operation Samahan. She shares about her organization’s SDAPI Culinary Fusion Festival, which brought a healthy appreciation for Asian Pacific Islander (API) culture and food to the Jacobs Center’s Market Creek Amphitheater and Festival Park on September 17. The event, part of STRIVE San Diego!, attracted more than 600 people from across the region. STRIVE San Diego!, is a CDC-funded policy, system, and environmental intervention program of SDAPI that addresses the issues of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension within the API community. The program works with API restaurant, grocery store, and farmers’ market owners to provide healthy dining and food options for their customers or patrons.

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culinary-fusion-4Please tell us a little about your organization?
SDAPI is a project of Operation Samahan, Inc. Established in 2008, the network is composed of API community-based organizations that aim to address the health disparities that exist within the Asian and Pacific Islander community in San Diego County.

Operation Samahan is a federally funded community health clinic established in 1973 and founded by the Filipino community. Operation Samahan provides comprehensive primary care, dental, and behavioral health services to underserved, low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals and families in the county. It has five facilities strategically located in the Northern and Southern regions of San Diego and serves over 17,000 patients a year.

Why did you want your event to take place in Southeastern San Diego?
The majority of our member partners come from City Heights and Southeastern San Diego. In addition, we believe that Southeastern San Diego is a hub of social and collective impact learning opportunities, where new and innovative ideas arise to address the social concerns of the community. We are part of the greater community that serves that purpose.culinary-fusion-2

How did your event engage the community?
The SDAPI Culinary Fusion Festival helped create awareness of the rich and diverse cultures of the Asian and Pacific Islander community and at the same time improve attendees’ appreciation for healthy API culinary arts. Our goal was to showcase the idea that the API community (who mostly reside in Southeastern San Diego) has a lot to share and to be proud of. Food, arts, and culture are just a few examples.

Why is art and culture important in a community?
Arts and culture are important because they define a racial group and/or entity on a personal level and give an individual identity, stability, and empowerment within the community he or she is a part of. The arts are a powerful means of expression that enables a community to document their contributions to the larger group they are part of and to bring healing and understanding to a community surrounded by mistrust, hatred, and fear. The arts are a powerful healing tool for those who have been hurt by racial and gender mistrust and violence. The arts are a powerful mechanism for peace.

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Why should people come experience arts and culture in Southeastern San Diego?
Southeast San Diego is a melting pot of diverse cultures and ethnicities.

culinary-fusion-3What is one thing you hope attendees took away from your event?
 A deeper understanding of and appreciation for the API’s diverse arts and culture, including healthy culinary arts. The event showcased through no-cost food tasting and sampling the healthy menus that were created through STRIVE San Diego!

What is one thing about your organization people may be surprised to know?
Our partnership and coalition have been built on mutual trust and respect. I think for the very first time, we were able to bring together API community leaders who have deep and sincere love, care, concern, and passion for the community.

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Thank you to the wonderful team at SDAPI, Operation Samahan, STRIVE San Diego!, and all of the other partners who made this event a success. You can learn more about these organizations’ important work and upcoming events at www.operationsamahan.org and www.strivesandiego.org.

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SAVE THE DATE – Jacobs Presents Ordinary Magic: A Spoken Work Opera

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Grow Your Business Through Referrals – October 26

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Haz crecer tu negocio a través de refencias – Octubre 26

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Jacobs Center Signs Unprecedented Public Philanthropic Partnership with the City of San Diego to Support Revitalization in Southeastern San Diego

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Southeastern San Diego has a new partner in its revitalization – The City of San Diego. The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and the City have signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a public-philanthropic partnership to improve infrastructure, strengthen the community, and enhance resident’s quality of life.

The Jacobs Center owns 60 acres of land in the Southeastern San Diego’s historically underserved Diamond Neighborhoods, and is the largest land owner in City Council District 4. The partnership between the City and the Jacobs Center helps realize the full potential of the land including

  • Continuing to improve the area’s infrastructure, starting with the Euclid and Market Complete Streets Project which is funded in large part by a $4 Million Caltrans Active Transportation Program grant the City applied for in partnership with the Jacobs Center.
  • Exploring the creation of a business incentive fund to encourage more retail, entrepreneurship and job creation in Southeastern San Diego.
  • Working with public and nonprofit agencies to encourage businesses to create more job opportunities and skills training for youth.

Click here to read the complete memorandum of understanding.

The Jacobs Center looks forward to continuing to work closely with the City of San Diego to transform Southeastern San Diego into a vibrant community envisioned by its residents.

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AmeriCorps Member Service Opportunity – Full Time Position – Job Skills Training Specialist

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The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation are seeking a full-time AmeriCorps member to serve as a Job Skills Training Specialist. The candidate will ideally begin service on November 1, 2016 and serve a minimum of 1700 hours though the end of his/her term on August 31, 2017.

ORGANIZATION BACKGROUNDS

JCNI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, created by the Jacobs Family Foundation in 1995. JCNI works in partnership with the community to revitalize San Diego neighborhoods recovering from decades of disinvestment, concentrated poverty, high unemployment, economic challenges, and blight.

JCNI acts as the backbone for efforts towards community improvement and neighborhood revitalization. JCNI is proud to be an Implementing Partner for the recently designated San Diego Promise Zone, which includes much of our service area. We anticipate that this Federal designation will accelerate our work and provide new and exciting collaborative project opportunities to revitalize some of San Diego’s most impoverished and underserved communities. AmeriCorps members are needed to help us take full advantage of this designation and expand Job Skills Training for Opportunity Youth.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is dedicated to helping community residents transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity — good places to work, do business and raise children. LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help community-based organizations revitalize underserved neighborhoods. This strategy extends to the LISC AmeriCorps program where we support placing AmeriCorps Members with local non-profit partners. Members assist in efforts to revitalize underserved neighborhoods across America and create vibrant places for people to live, work, and play.

AMERICORPS MEMBER ACTIVITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Assists Program team to develop participant soft skills and provide information about appropriate workplace behavior. This will be an integral member of the jobs team, working under Case Manager and alongside the Program Coordinator to provide job skills training and wrap around soft skills training to Opportunity Youth in group and one-on-one settings.

  • Develops and documents program level standard operating procedures and supporting documentation.
  • Assists in program development around soft skills training, including resume development, interviewing, skills and job search instruction.
  • Assists with lesson development and delivery.
  • Ensures that participants are checked in daily and all forms and online logs have been completed.
  • Tracks student program hours, attendance and additional lab time.
  • Manages lab schedule.
  • Leads/Assists in developing and disseminating program schedules.
  • Assists Case Manager in delivery soft skills training and mentorship.
  • Leads/Assists in researching best practices for: Appropriate Work place behavior, Job Search skill skills, resumebuilding and interviewing Strengths.
  • Leads/Assists in researching best practices for financial literacy and identifying or developing related curricula.
  • Establishes relationships and builds rapport with individual participants.
  • Provides regular check-ins to monitor participant challenges and successes.
  • Assists in the implementation of Orientation Boot Camp.
  • Leads/Assists in completing initial assessments of participants’ skill level.
  • Leads/Assists with completing all proper participant forms and tracking tools.
  • Leads/Assists in administering evaluation assessment surveys.
  • Administers and tracks daily participant check-in forms.
  • Provides mentorship during technical training.

Our mission is to foster a thriving community envisioned and realized by its residents. We know that no single community-based organization can achieve social and economic development alone. To be successful, we must engage broader partnerships in various sectors including government, physical development, education, arts, health, and safety.

  • Interfaces with Job Placement Specialist in preparation for training-to-placement transition.
  • Maintains and tracks contacts utilizing Salesforce or other customer relationship management tool as prescribed by JCNI.
  • Ensures accurate record keeping including participant demographics, case files, referrals, outcomes.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND SERVICE REQUIREMENTS

Members perform day to day service at JCNI and are expected to attend and participate in all LISC AmeriCorps sponsored activities including but not limited to:

  • Attending a national leadership conference tentatively scheduled for March 2017;
  • Attending all locally sponsored monthly meetings;
  • Participating in nationally sponsored webinars;
  • Actively participating in at least two locally identified and team coordinated service projects (one for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and one for National AmeriCorps Week); and,
  • Engaging in any other LISC events as determined by the local LISC office.This is an AmeriCorps position. As such neither LISC nor JCNI will allow the member to engage in activities that are considered prohibited under the terms of the grant while serving as a LISC AmeriCorps member.

DESIRED SKILLS

  • Desire and ability to work with a diverse group of people, particularly those living in low-income distressed neighborhoods
  • Experience with at-risk youth and/or youth development preferred
  • Experience developing lesson plans is a plus
  • Bilingual English/Spanish preferred
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Computer skills
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule (some nights and weekends may be required)
  • Commitment to personal learning and growth
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • People- and service-oriented disposition

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible to participate as a LISC AmeriCorps member the candidate must meet all eligibility requirements to serve as a National Service participant including but not limited to:

  • Be eligible to earn 100% of a full-time education award
  • Be eligible to perform a term of national service
  • Possess a high school degree, GED certificate or agree to achieve GED during the term of service
  • Be at least 17 years of age (note there is no upper age limit)
  • Have proof of status as a US citizen or possess permanent resident status and be able to provide documentation as determined by CNCS
  • Be available to serve for a full 10 month period of time
  • Be able to complete at least 1700 hours of service within the 10 months of service

NATIONAL SERVICE CRIMINAL HISTORY SEARCH

If a candidate has a criminal record, it does not necessarily make a candidate ineligible for service. Only candidates who are subject to registry on the National Sex Offender Public Website or have been convicted of First Degree Murder may not participate as an AmeriCorps member. Only candidates being offered and then accepting the position must consent to a search of the National Sex Offender Public Website, a State Level Criminal History Search and an FBI search. Consent is provided via the LISC AmeriCorps application.

PROGRAM BENEFITS

Upon successful completion of the term of service, the member will be eligible for a $5,775 education award to pay off existing, eligible student loans or return to school. The position pays a total stipend of $15,000. The stipend is taxable and paid in 20 equal checks twice a month from LISC. Direct deposit is highly encouraged. A health care benefit is available for the participant only (dependents are not eligible). For members with children under the age of 13, there is a child care subsidy benefit available which is dependent on the participant meeting all eligibility requirements (This benefit is administered by a contracted provider via the Corporation for National and Community Service).

HOW TO APPLY: Resumes should be sent to: JCNI Human Resources Department at hr@jacobscenter.org, Attention: Charmy Doshi.

We promote equal opportunity in selecting AmeriCorps members. We are committed to diversity and inclusion in the selection process.

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#DiamondShines – Share What You Love About Our Community on Social Media

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Our #DiamondShines social media campaign engages and encourages residents of Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods and visitors to share the stories, spaces, history, events, and people that make our community great. Through images, video, and brief written content to provide context, this campaign works to instill community pride and dispel negative perceptions by celebrating all of the positive things that exist here.

Are you proud of your student’s accomplishments? Do you love a new park or art installation in your neighborhood? Did you just eat the best meal at your favorite local restaurant? Rave about it on social media and let everyone know why the #DiamondShines! It’s easy to participate. Snap a photo, add some text explaining what is seen in the photo, add the hashtag #DiamondShines, and post for all of your followers to like! Make sure to follow the Jacobs Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as we may re-share your posts and tweets.

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Diamond Spotlight: Opera on Track Brings Stories to Life Through Music in Southeastern San Diego

Arts and culture have the ability to positively transform a community and inspire and engage its residents. The Jacobs Center supports arts and culture through our Jacobs Presents performances and cultural experiences series where we partner with organizations to bring dynamic low-cost events to Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods. These events make it easy for residents to experience quality arts without leaving their community and provide an opportunity for people to visit and celebrate the area’s diversity.

This week we are launching a new blog series called Diamond Spotlight. This series will celebrate our talented arts, culture, and creative placemaking partners who are activating space and engaging residents in Southeastern San Diego with their craft. Our inaugural interview is with Nicolas M. Reveles, the Director of Community Engagement for San Diego Opera. Reveles answers questions the opera’s Opera on Track initiative, which brought informal opera to new and diverse audiences by hosting a series of free performances at stations and venues near or along the MTS trolley line including one at the Jacobs Center’s Market Creek Amphitheater on September 10.

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OperaOnTrack_Blog_700x1080Please tell us a little about your organization?
San Diego Opera is a nonprofit arts organization that is dedicated to delivering exceptional vocal performances and exciting, accessible programs to diverse audiences, focusing on community engagement and the transformative power of live performance.

Please tell us about your recent performance in partnership with the Jacobs Center?
Our event on September 17 was part of a new initiative called Opera on Track which presented eight free performances of a short version of Rossini’s Cinderella for audiences along the three trolley lines. It was part of a partnership with MTS to promote the opportunity for audiences to travel to the opera using public transportation.

Why did you want your performance to take place in Southeastern San Diego?
Opera on Track was designed to be performed in diverse communities: Santee, Barrio Logan, Old Town, Mission Valley, National City, Chula Vista, and Southeastern San Diego. We planned it to engage audiences from the many different neighborhoods and communities we have in greater San Diego.16-034_operaontrack_9-10-16_0678

How did your performance engage the community?
We believe the performance engaged the community in what opera actually is; a story told through music. To make our performance more accessible, we performed the piece in a modern English translation, and that was much appreciated by the audience. We also noticed that people who just happened by were ‘surprised’ by opera, something that we’d hoped would be a result of the performance.

Why is art and culture important in a community?
Art and culture is a crucial component of life in any community because works of art and cultural experiences tell us who we are as humans and help us reflect on the world around us. Opera is about emotion through music. Experiencing emotion through the arts is a wonderful outlet for people of all ages and, we believe, brings people closer together.

16-034_operaontrack_9-10-16_0714Why should people come experience arts and culture in Southeastern San Diego?
Every neighborhood has its own art and its own culture. Southeastern San Diego is no different and has much to offer diverse audiences looking for new experiences. By our sharing of opera with the community, our hope is that the neighborhood is inspired to create its own art and present its own culture to the surrounding communities. Can there be opera (or any kind of art or expression of culture) in Southeastern San Diego? Absolutely! And we’d like to help make that happen.

What is one thing you hope attendees took away from your performance?
We hope the audience simply experienced what opera can be in an outdoor, informal context. We also hope that the audience realized that San Diego Opera is community oriented and intent on sharing who we are and what we do with audiences of all ages and all demographic groups.

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What is one thing about your organization people may be surprised to know?
People would be surprised to know how informal and inviting our organization can be! People often think of concerts, ballet and opera as something ‘other,’ something for the wealthy or something that is formal and forbidding. When we show up in a community and present what opera actually is, they’re surprised; we love that!

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Thank you to San Diego Opera for bringing its talented performers to the Diamond Neighborhoods and for engaging residents in storytelling through music.  You can learn more about San Diego Opera at sdopera.com and find upcoming performances and events under the Community Engagement menu.

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Izcalli and Jacobs Presents Brings Día de los Muertos – Oct. 29 – FREE

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Small Business Boot Camp – October 1

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