LOGAN SQUARE — As a 19-year-old college student, Prisilla Tito spends most of her time working on school assignments and readying herself for the job market. Now, Tito will add leading a long-standing community organization to her extracurricular activities.
Tito was recently named board president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, making her the youngest person to hold the title in the organization’s nearly 60-year history, Executive Director Juliet De Jesus Alejandre said.
Organization leaders chose Tito because she has become an indispensable force within the organization, De Jesus Alejandre said.
In Tito’s four years as a youth organizer, she has pushed for more resources at her former school — Schurz High School — and helped create more accessible zoning notices in the 35th Ward. During the pandemic, Tito “really stepped up” and helped usher hundreds of thousands of dollars in mutual aid funds to Northwest Side families in need, De Jesus Alejandre said.
Tito “represents the future of what LSNA’s moving toward,” De Jesus Alejandre said. “We have this vision of what does it mean to center life of Black and Brown leaders, to intentionally talk about anti-Blackness in the Latino community, to really be in solidarity of a Chicago where ZIP codes no longer determine your life expectancy … . She represents a lot of that.”
As board president, Tito will lead board meetings and member action council meetings, furthering the mission of Logan Square Neighborhood Association, which bills itself as a “community-based organization advancing diversity, leader development and models for engagement as the catalysts for social justice.”
Tito will replace previous board President Norma Rios-Sierra, who recently stepped down after three years and assumed a different role on the board.
In recent years, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association has centered youth voices at protests and events, and Tito said she hopes to build on that momentum and expand the organization’s youth programs while she’s at the helm. Board presidents are typically asked to serve a two-year term.
“As a young person in today’s society, we’re kinda brushed off — ‘Let the adults talk,'” she said. “But when we speak about shaping our future for young folks, we should really let young folks have an input in that.”
Tito grew up in Logan Square near the California Blue Line station. Her family moved to Austin about a decade ago. She is currently studying public policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a major she was inspired to pursue while working for the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and she hopes to work for a nonprofit that puts people first when she graduates.
Tito said her appointment is an extension of the youth-led social justice movement happening across the country.
“Now more than ever — we’ve seen this in the last year — a lot of the movements going on are youth-led,” she said. “We’re no longer in a position where we have brush young voices off. They know more about their communities than people like to think. They can see these inequities.”
Logan Square Neighborhood Association Fundraiser
Tito and the rest of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association crew are gearing up for the organization’s big annual fundraiser 7-8 p.m. Friday.
Though Chicago is reopening with coronavirus cases at an all-time low, the organization’s “I Love Logan Square” fundraiser will be held virtually this year. Several staffers and parent mentors have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and holding a big party could be seen as a sign of disrespect to those people, De Jesus Alejandre said.
“It feels like a lot of ways like we’re getting gaslit by society,” she said. “We’re still grappling with the real deep losses … of people who are no longer here.”
This year’s fundraiser will feature an online auction with nearly two dozen neighborhood-specific prizes, such as a year’s worth of pie from Bang Bang Pie, a silk screen print of Dolly Parton by Jess LeMaster and handmade jewelry and crafts from local makers Cajitas de mi Corazón and Las Crafty Aunties. Bidding is now live.
Auctioneers Sara Mathers and Raul Islas will run the virtual event, which will also be a celebration of the organization’s accomplishments over the past year.
General admission tickets cost $25. The VIP and Top of the Monument tickets, which are going for $50 and $75, respectively, come with add-ons including drinks, food and a gift bag. El Azteca in Hermosa is providing the food, while Cole’s Bar, Scofflaw and The Moonlighter are providing the drinks.
All of the money raised will go toward the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and its mutual aid efforts.
“Were holding a lot, but we still want the organization that all of these people are a part of to continue,” De Jesus Alejandre said. “We were able to help and support so many grieving families [during the pandemic] because we were able to fundraise.”
To buy tickets to the fundraiser, bid on auction items or for more information, visit Logan Square Neighborhood Association’s website.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: