Amigos de Guadalupe: Center for Justice and Empowerment
Amigos connects agencies and resources to people. The organization,originally founded as “ACE (Achieve, Choice, Equity) PUBLIC SCHOOL NETWORK” first addressed education disparities in Mayfair by establishing the first 3 small schools of choice in the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District.
These schools have become top performers in the district and several other small schools and charter school have been added to the district. Over the past 2 years, the organization conducted a series of one-to-one interviews with residents within the Mayfair community. It became clear that a much more comprehensive approach was needed to address issues of disparity. Responding to this need, the organization broadened its work to include family and community concerns that diminish the capacity of the individual to succeed. “ACE PUBLIC SCHOOL NETWORK” changed its name to reflect this more comprehensive mission. !
Today the organization, “Amigos de Guadalupe: Center for Justice and Empowerment” (“Amigos”) addresses inequities through community organizing and advocacy, education (inclusive of ESL, citizenship classes, after-schools and summer programming for young children and youth), and direct social service. “Amigos” has entered into a unique partnership with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish because the parish has historically been the heart of the relationships that make up the Mayfair
community. The parish holds the most trusted relationships in the community and has a large volume of people who either attend religious services or access social assistance from the parish. (6,000-7,000 people pass through the parish each week).
“Amigos” recognizes the value of the parish in the community and the desire of its people to be a life-giving force that helps people achieve some level of dignity. The parish, unfortunately, does not have the capacity to address the complexity of all the issues that come from living in a marginalized neighborhood. “Amigos” provides the possibility of networking various agencies and organizations committed to providing direct services in the Mayfair community, advocacy and links to public institutions that will address these needs and increase individuals and families quality of life. “Amigos” will work with area service providers and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in an effort to move the individual from the isolation and marginalization that result from poverty and lack of access to resources to self-sufficiency and greater participation in neighborhood and community.