A community thrives when a variety of individuals and organizations work to make it a better place. Explore the various movements and moments that have shaped — and continue to shape — Pilsen.
In the '70s, Pilsen’s housing stock was dilapidated, its sidewalks crumbling and its prospects dim. But the people who built a community network in the early '70s were determined to build up the neighborhood and be the drivers of that development. They continue to wage that battle.
Pilsen’s homicide rate has dropped sharply from its peak in 1979. The history of Pilsen — and Pilsen’s gangs — might offer clues for other Chicago communities and policymakers about what works to combat violence.
Pilsen’s public art, including its vibrant murals, have long been highly revered and highly politicized. Today, the neighborhood is a center not only of Mexican culture, but of creativity and self-expression.
Since becoming a predominantly Mexican community, the immigrant rights movement in Pilsen has expanded its network and amassed more political power with each passing decade.
In recent decades, through demonstrations, sit-ins and the hard, daily work of educators and activists, the community of Pilsen has revolutionized the quality and quantity of educational opportunities available to its children.
In recent decades, community activists in Pilsen have confronted polluting industries, held government regulators to account and taken it upon themselves to find the resources and provide the care to people who, for too long, fell through the cracks.
The fight for decent paying, dignified jobs has been the longest and fiercest battle in Pilsen’s history. Today, that fight continues through efforts to increase the minimum wage.
The My Neighborhood Project was launched with major catalyst funding from: