In 2015, Santa Clara University partnered with a group of San Jose immigrant mothers and formed The Madres Emprendedoras: Mosaicos de la Communidad- Spanish for Entrepreneurial Mothers: Mosaics of the Community. On September 21, 2018 a mural symbolizing two years of tireless work was unveiled at Washington Elementary School. The “Madres” initiative aimed at solving, what the community identified as their three largest social issues- public safety, housing insecurity, and special needs education. The program was supported by SCU sociology professor Laura Nichols and ethnic studies assistant professor Jesica Fernandez, who headed a group of students in researching and investigating solutions to the problems identified by the mothers.
Through this program the mothers and students and faculty at SCU were able to work together to compile useful resources for tackling issues in the community. SCU students also helped connect members of the community to school administrators and officials who could provide additional support in responding to the needs of the community. One recent graduate from the Jesuit university, Alma Orozco, who worked on the “Madres” initiative, stated that the program validated the importance of empowering community members to be “the leaders of their own change.” The recently unveiled mural is filled with vibrant colors and imagery that depicts the mothers’ vision of hope for the future.
You can read more about Santa Clara University’s work in the San Jose community here.