Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Olga Bautista

Community Activist and Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke

"Frontline communities are often left out of important decisions when it affects them the most. It doesn't have to happen this time around," says Olga Bautista, mother of two and lifelong resident of Southeast Chicago. Olga has a deep commitment to ensuring a sustainable and equitable future for South Chicago. Olga has dedicated her professional career to improving the lives of her community members. Olga has been a Local School Council Parent Representative at John L. Marsh School, a YWCA Crisis Intervention Specialist, a Board Member of the Immigrant Defense Alliance, a board member of the Southeast Environmental Taskforce (SETF) and a member of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE). She is trained in Restorative Justice Conflict Resolution, DIY Balloon Mapping and was nominated to present the balloon-mapping project for the White House Makers Faire. Olga previously worked as the State Recruiter for the Illinois Migrant Education Program and the Adult Education Coordinator at Association House of Chicago, where she honed her skills at responding to the needs of diverse communities. As one of the lead organizers for the Chicago Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, Olga continues to lead the fight that has forced state and local politicians to address pressing environmental issues in the 10th Ward. More recently, Olga spoke at the MLK Commemorative Services at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Martin Luther King Jr. Day about her service to the community.