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East Side Dreams

East Side Dreams: The Untold Story of East San José

East Side Dreams Exhibit

The "East Side Dreams: The Untold Story of East San José" exhibit was was held from July 1 to September 24, 2022 on the second and fifth floors of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library – a special collaboration between San José State University King Library's Africana, Asian American, Chicano, & Native American Studies Center and the San José Public Library

"East Side Dreams" synthesized the stories both remembered and forgotten, presenting a comprehensive historical picture of the East Side and its people through images and artifacts. Patrons were able to experience the East Side’s evolution from fields of fruit and flowers to diverse metropolis as well as the social forces, organizations, and individuals that shaped the East Side into the place we know today.

 Solidarity: Hispanic Senior Citizens

Solidarity: Hispanic Senior Citizens

July 1 - October 6, 2022, All Day at King Library, 2nd Floor - DiNapoli Exhibit Gallery

Mary J. Andrade is an author, photographer, and co-publisher of La Oferta Latino Bilingual Newspaper, which she founded in 1978 with her husband, Frank. In the mid-1980s, Andrade collaborated with Shirley I. Fisher to research and photograph community members who'd made social, economic and political contributions to Santa Clara valley. The goal was to preserve the wisdom and heritage of the subjects while raising awareness of local history. The work culminated in Solidarity, Hispanic Senior Citizens.

East Side Stories: Community Members & Activists 

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Take a stroll down memory lane with community members and activists that helped shape the East Side we know today. In this two-part panel event, participants will discuss their experiences living and working on this historic community. Learn about the East Side’s evolution from rural farmland to thriving multicultural community, and how that community came together to face the challenges posed by government neglect, media misrepresentation and economic discrimination.

Guest Speakers 

Part 1: Growing Up East Side

Rosanna Alvarez

Event Host, Rosanna Alvarez is a poet, author, creator and host of the Hella Chingona Podcast and co-founder and editor of Eastside Magazine.

Len Ramirez

Len Ramirez is a multi-media Journalist and TV Reporter at KPIX 5 TV.

Paul English

Paul English has worked as a financial consultant and currently owns a landscaping company in San Francisco. He and has served in local organizations such as the Santa Clara Valley Urban League and the San Jose Chamber of Commerce.

Joel Ruíz Herrera

Joel Ruíz Herrera in an educator who has held numerous positions in area schools ranging from teacher to superintendent. He has also served in community organizations including the GI Forum and La Raza Historical Society.

Maritza Maldonado

Maritza Maldonado is the Founder and Executive Director of Amigos de Guadalupe Center for Justice and Empowerment, and a local and national leader on issues including immigration, school reform, and child advocacy. She was named Woman of the Year, 2022 by Senator Dave Cortese.

Tony Alexander

Tony Alexander is the former political director for United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 5, and has served in many community groups including the San Jose Conservation Core, The African American Community Service Agency, and the Alum Rock Union School District board of trustees.

Part 2: East Side Activism

Maria Perez

Maria Perez is a former east side activist and has worked in gang, drug, and alcohol prevention for over 40 years.

Doreen Garcia Nevel

Doreen Garcia Nevel worked in nursing for 30 years, helping Spanish speakers overcome language related service barriers. The daughter of San Jose activists Ernestina and Tony Garcia, Doreen was involved in activist groups such as the Black Berets, Community Alert Patrol, and the Confederation de la Raza Unida.

Tony Estremera

Tony Estremera is a lawyer focused on immigrant rights and diversity. He has served on countless boards and committees including the Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County, the Mexican American Political Association, and the Mayor’s Committee on Minority Affairs (San Jose).

Shirley Trevino

Shirley Trevino is a former San Jose youth activist who has worked in Labor Relations for over 40 years. She is co-founder of several organizations including CAUSA, Latina Coalition, LULAC Gilroy, The Institute for Non-Violence, and Uoxina de Paz, and has been named one of the 100 most influential Latinos in Silicon Valley. 

    The East Side's Impact in San José: A Conversation With Scholars 

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    The history of San José’s east side remained largely unchronicled. Newspaper accounts and academic papers offered only glimpses, but not a complete picture. In the late 20th century, a new generation of historians began putting the pieces together. Join us for a conversation with four scholars whose research was instrumental in illuminating the east side story.

    Guest Speakers

    Arturo Villarreal

    Event Host, Arturo Villarreal is a professor with a BA in Behavioral Science/Cultural Anthropology and a MA in Social Science from San José State University. He is the co-author of the book Mexicans in San José, and currently teaches Ethnic Studies and Anthropology at Evergreen Valley College.

    Stephen Pitti

    Stephen Pitti, PhD is a Professor of History, American Studies, and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University. He is the author of The Devil in Silicon Valley: Race, Mexican Americans, and Northern California and other works on Chicano history and historiography.

    Josie Méndez-Negrete

    Josie Méndez-Negrete, PhD, is professor emerita of The University of Texas at San Antonio, founder and publisher of Conocimientos Press and the author of three books including Activist Leaders of San José.

    Due to an issue with the recording of the event, please read the text of this presentation in SJSU ScholarWorks: San José’s Eastside: Forever My Home

    Alexandro J. Jara

    Alexandro J. Jara is a scholar of Western and Latin American History, and the author of “Latinos and U.S. Transnational Urbanism: Ethnic Mexicans, Culture, and the Politics of Making San José, 1940-1980."

    Supported By: 

    The "East Side Dreams" Exhibit has been made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the Social Science Research Council and the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

    Read the complete press release [PDF] for more information. 

    San José Public Library
    National Endowment for the Humanities
    American Library Assocation
    Social Science Research Council