Community Engagement

Engaging the community is what makes an ordinary neighborhood an extraordinary one. Jacobs Center develops and promotes Diamond District events and programs, encouraging community participation and engagement.

Founded in 1995

Since Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation was founded in 1995, our nonprofit organization has established a nationally recognized community engagement model. We foster critical community relationships by partnering with residents and local leaders and organizations – as well as regional and national partners – to revitalize Southeastern San Diego, a culturally-diverse and underserved area, prime for investment and transformation.

Through our framework of community engagement and creative placemaking, the Jacobs Center works closely with residents to build the community they have envisioned. We activate spaces and cultivate services and amenities within our focus areas – leveraging the power of local businesses, culture and art to benefit the community and stimulate change and growth.

In addition to opportunities for community members to have input in real estate and economic development efforts, we develop and promote a range of community-informed, placemaking events and programs that encourage interaction, education, and arts and culture. Along with the Jacobs Center’s Arts and Culture Committee, we work to create neighborhood cultural gatherings to bring together and strengthen the community. Programming includes performances and cultural experiences, including outdoor movie nights, music concerts, cultural festivals, performing arts and more, provided to the community free-of-charge or at low cost.

Our organization also supports a range of events at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center, including Celebration Hall, and promotes other area events via its website, blog, e-newsletter and social media. Check out our blog for what’s happening next!

Community Governance and Administration

Jacobs Center’s board of directors includes three community board members, representing Southeastern San Diego residents at the highest level within the organization. Throughout their term, community board members work to advance Jacob Center’s goal of making the Diamond District a better place to live, work, learn, and thrive through promoting community building, tolerance, and racial equity and understanding.

In mutual leadership with the Jacobs Family, community board members uphold the organization’s vision – to be part of a caring community where people are responsible for each other, all cultures are embraced, sustaining resources are in place for a vibrant economy and residents create the future they envision.

Learn more about our full board, including the community board members here.

To see photos of community engagement events, visit:

To view videos of community engagement events, visit: