Pilsen Neighbors Community Council’s (PNCC) is a non-profit organization (1954) whose mission is to work to establish policies and practices in the Pilsen and Southwest areas of Chicago to bring about justice and equity by investing in the development of community leaders and pastors through leadership training and action.
PNCC is part of an international organization, the Gamaliel Network, made up of grass-roots community organizations throughout the country. PNCC focuses primarily on community organizing. A core goal of community organizing is to generate power for an organization representing the community, allowing it to influence key decision-makers on a range of issues. PNCC works on immigration reform, education reform, work force development and healthcare. We work to develop new local leaders, facilitating coalitions and assisting in the development of campaigns.
In addition, PNCC offers the following:
Guadalupe A. Reyes, Fiesta del Sol Scholarship: The scholarship has celebrated over a decade of awarding scholarships to students all over the city. Fiesta del Sol has given over $700,000 in scholarships to more than 450 students.
Academy of Parents in Leadership: APL is an education initiative of Pilsen Neighbors Community Council and Gamaliel of Metro Chicago to increase and solidify parent involvement in schools and our community. The purpose of this initiative is to develop parents as power leaders in the public arena in order effectively advocate in educational issues affecting their children and the community. The APL group is made up of parents representing various schools in the community.
Pilsen Education Summit: The Pilsen Education Summit is organized by PNCC in collaboration with members of the Pilsen Education Task Force – of the Pilsen Planning Committee, comprised of schools; community based organizations, colleges and universities, as well as parents. The goal is to create a path of education for area residents from birth through college, and make all residents aware of the educational resources available in Pilsen.
University Round Table: The University Round Table (URT) consists of a strong partnership with colleges and universities in order to bridge the education gap for minority and underrepresented students. The URT helps raise scholarships through the Guadalupe A. Reyes Fiesta del Sol scholarship program and attend our annual college fair at Fiesta del Sol.
Through its efforts, PNCC has been instrumental in bringing new institutions and capital improvements to the neighborhood. These include: The allocation and construction of Benito Juarez Community Academy, Harrison Park Field House, West Side Technical Institute, the allocation of $26 million in city infrastructure funds between 1995-1999, the planning and development of Alivio Medical Center, (serving the Pilsen, Little Village, and Back of the Yards neighborhoods) as well as Eighteenth Street Development Corporation, El Valor, Esperanza School, and a handful of local schools since 1954.
Fiesta del Sol
Fiesta del Sol festival (1972) is PNCC’s primary fundraising opportunity to fund its community organizing and service programming throughout the year. Fiesta del Sol began as a celebration to commemorate PNCC’s role in securing the city’s commitment to building Benito Juarez Leadership Academy. What started off as a block party, has now evolved into the largest Latino Festival in the Midwest.
2016: More than 1 million in attendance