Get Proximate: Experience Mayfair – Si Se Puede!

Join us for SV2’s second Get Proximate experience in the Mayfair neighborhood of East San Jose with community members on Tuesday, June 4th. Facilitated by Somos Mayfair, SV2’s alumni Grantee, we will join residents of a community that is both grappling with challenges as well as building on its strengths as it looks ahead. We seek to listen and deepen our understanding of this community.

Our morning begins with a walking/driving tour of Mayfair accompanied by residents and community leaders who will share the rich history, many assets and vexing challenges of a dynamic neighborhood that is changing. Then we’ll engage in conversation with Mayfair residents and community leaders over a delicious lunch from Mayfair restaurant El Pirrin. We will learn about how history has shaped this community and led to some systemic issues that persist.

We will meet a community that is grappling with a variety of challenges and learn how various stakeholders are working to improve the future of this community. What role do we play in this? This experience is designed to help us shed our preconceived notions and bring back a deeper perspective to conversations about communities that are struggling throughout the Bay Area.

Understand the history of the church where Cesar Chavez organized. Learn how bridges can be dividers, appreciate the parks, community centers and changes afoot in this resilient 60 by 60 square blocks. Our goal with Get Proximate is to foster meaningful connections and more in-depth understanding through proximity. This event is open to SV2 Partners and their middle and high school children.

9:45 am– Gather/Orientation at Somos Mayfair 370-B King Road, San José, CA 95116
10:00 am– Depart for a tour in small groups with a community member
12:00/12:15 pm– Reconvene for lunch and conversation in small groups
2:00 pm– Wrap up

Pre-and post-experience reflection. Once you RSVP, we will send you some pre-experience info including background reading. Following our time in Mayfair, we invite participants to a post-event follow up call to share and explore your experience. We will follow up with details.

Located in East San Jose, Mayfair is a vibrant and historic neighborhood that has a legacy of social services, community organizing, and social justice movements. Mayfair was home to the renowned labor leader Cesar Chavez and birthplace for the Mexican-American civil rights movement. Today, the Mayfair neighborhood is a working class, cultural hub drawing immigrants from Latin American and Asian countries. Mayfair is both a community of transitions and new beginnings, where immigrants come, and families settle to pursue their dreams.

Approximately 56,500 people, predominantly first and second-generation Mexican-origin families, live in Mayfair. Immigrants from the Philippines, Vietnam, and India also reside in the Mayfair neighborhood. The median household income is roughly half ($47,063) of the Santa Clara County median income ($102,191). High school graduation rates for the neighborhood are estimated to stagnate near 50%, and rates of obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease far surpass the averages for the county.

Substandard housing conditions and poor infrastructure earned Mayfair the name of “Sal Si Puedes” or “Get Out if You Can.” Many residents of Mayfair organized themselves to improve their neighborhood through grassroots leadership, civic activism, and direct advocacy campaigns. Several of today’s regional elected officials and institutional leaders began their work in Mayfair. The legacy of this work infuses and animates the efforts of the Si Se Puede! Collective.

More about SV2’s Get Proximate Initiative

Get Proximate is a pilot initiative SV2 is launching this year to help explore the question: “Why do we give?” Most of us donate to organizations because we believe they are doing important work in the community. But how much do we know about the people these organizations serve and whose lives we indirectly hope to improve? How can we truly understand the needs of those in our community without “getting proximate,” listening to and understanding their personal stories and perspectives?

SV2’s Get Proximate initiative aspires to create mutually beneficial and authentic experiences with people in our community who have had different — and potentially difficult — life experiences. Getting proximate will take on multiple forms as we experiment in this inaugural year. Our first event was Around the Table at Maple Street with Life Moves on 1/21/19.