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Tonika Johnson


When West Sider Told College Classmates Where She Was From, Everything Changed: ‘I Was Categorized … As Hood’

In our final story in the Folded Map "Don't Go" series, Leslie Cortez shares the pain of being treated as dangerous or lesser-than — just because of her address.

Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

A Piano Repairman Was Told There Was A Lot Of Potential Business On The South Side. Why? Other Workers Won’t Go There: ‘You Gotta Be Kidding Me’

In Part Four of our Folded Map series, a piano repairman shares his experiences serving communities that are ignored by other contractors due to misconceptions and racism.

Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

How This Englewood Engineer Became A Full-Time ‘Defender’ Of The South Side

When Tiana Morgan began college, she was warned to stay away from the South Side — where she was born and raised. As she rose in her career, she became dedicated to challenging harmful narratives about her community.

Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

IIT Student Was Told Don’t ‘Go Past 35th Street.’ He Ignored The Advice — And Found Home On The South Side

Instead of making assumptions about the people living in unfamiliar and purportedly unsafe neighborhoods, one resident learned important lessons about humanity.


Her Whole Life, A North Side Shop Owner Was Told To Avoid The South Side. The Folded Map Project Helped Her Challenge That

The racial justice uprisings of 2020 inspired Adrianne Hawthorne to challenge things she was taught as a child. Now, her North Side shop promotes artists from all over the city, and she's no longer afraid of taking the "wrong" exit.

Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park