Speaker Date Topic
Prof. Duane Cheers, PhotoJournalism at SJSU May 23, 2019 12:15 PM
Ghana School Initiative

Prof. Duane Cheers received his Ph.D from Howard University, Washington, D. C., in African Studies and Research. He has  MA, African-American Studies  MS, Journalism and  BA, Journalism from Boston University. He is currently a Professor of Photojournalism at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University. 

He was a Fulbright Scholar to Johannesburg, South Africa where he taught documentary photography to township children and freelance photographers. He organized an exhibition of their work that was on display the Durban City Hall Gallery and at the Bensusan Museum in Johannesburg. 

Last year, he was a part of a CSU-Faculty Seminar held at the University of Ghana, in Accra, the capital city. During the week, he met Mary Nyamson, a principal at the Edumfa School. He discovered that the school with 19 teachers and 335 students, had no computers, few school supplies, and few desks. He has been working with the school to provide with supplies, and community meal for the students, who live in a rural, farming town. He is returning in mid-July with more school supplies. 

MeetUp! May 30, 2019 6:00 PM
Mr. Edward Alvarez Jun 13, 2019 12:15 PM
Education in the News
Education in the News

Edward Alvarez has extensive background and experience in the education sector. His education experience includes services on various advisory committees, including the Eastside Union High School District and the California Community Colleges Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs. He was elected to the Eastside Union High School District Board of Trustees and served a seven-year term during which the District constructed 8 high schools. He served a 7-year term on the Board of trustees of Santa Clara University as well as the Board Real Estate and Finance Committee.

He is a Trustee Emeritus of the University as well as a member of the Role Model Board of Trustees, an elementary school mentor program. During his law practice tenure, he represented the Mision-DeAnza Community College District and was instrumental in the information of the formation of the Mission-DeAnza Community Foundation, including the creation of enabling legislation required by law.


Mr. Alvarez has served as the Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Hispanic Education (formerly The NHU Foundation) since 2004. Currently, Mr. Alvarez also serves on the Board of Trustees of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School San Jose, a private school whose enrollment is restricted to low-income families. Mr. Alvarez has been recognized as a recipient of the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s first-ever Latino Leadership Awards.

Club Assembly Jun 20, 2019 12:15 PM
Club BBQ! Jun 27, 2019 6:00 PM
Ms. Jessica Paz-Cedillos, Executive Director Jul 18, 2019 12:15 PM
The School of Arts and Culture at MHP catalyzes creativity and empowers community
The School of Arts and Culture at MHP catalyzes creativity and empowers community

Jessica is the daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico and El Salvador. She was born and raised in East Oakland and knows firsthand the impact that arts and culture can have to build pride, preserve our heritage, and fuel community and economic development. Jessica has dedicated her career to the public sector, working for organizations like the ACLU. Prior to joining the School of Arts and Culture (the School), she spent four years immersed in the Mayfair community and led the efforts that doubled SOMOS Mayfair’s budget from $1.5 (FY15) million to $3.4 million (FY19). During this time, she built meaningful relationships with members of the Si Se Puede! Collective, including the team at the School of Arts and Culture.


Over the years, Jessica has refined her leadership, fundraising, and operational skills. She has received training through the Center for Excellence in Non-Profits and On The Verge and is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.  Jessica is excited to be leading the School — a vibrant, cultural institution in East San Jose — and looks forward to continuing her work in the Mayfair community.

Louise Auerhahn,Director of Economic & Work Policy Aug 15, 2019 12:15 PM
Trades Orientation Program

Louise Auerhahn, Director of Economic and Workforce Policy, joined Working Partnerships USA in 2001 and has served in numerous roles. Her current work focuses on the impacts of Silicon Valley's changing economy on working families and the middle class, including efforts to create quality, sustainable jobs and place working people, women, and communities of color at the center of the emerging green economy. She is a lead author of the Life in the Valley Economy, Tech’s Invisible Workforce, and Innovating Inequality? reports highlighting the economic wellbeing of the "invisible majority" of low- and middle-income residents in Silicon Valley. At the regional level, she is a co-author of the Economic Prosperity Strategy for the Bay Area and coordinates the Construction Careers Initiative. She also serves on the Board of Directors of work2future and the Collins Foundation and is a past Board member and vice president of the Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN). She holds a B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University.

When not at work, Louise enjoys outdoor concerts, gardening and biking the Guadalupe trail. She lives in downtown San Jose with her wife Alice and a backyard full of tomatoes.