Just about every day, Kenneth Johnson picks up his camera and hits the streets of Englewood, taking candid images of daily life in the neighborhood where he grew up. His goal? To change the public’s perception of the community he loves and give the world a glimpse into what he knows is Englewood’s real story.
“I started taking pictures to make a difference and to move the conversation from what I see on TV all the time to something different, something positive. People say ‘Englewood is this’ or ‘Englewood is that’. I say no, my Englewood is not that. My Englewood is family oriented and community based. And if you push that narrative, push that positive, then you start to realize there can be a shift in attitude. That can be transformative.”
Kenneth’s I am Englewood series focuses on all the good happening in the community and counters what the rest of the world reads about in the news. “A lot of people here are doing awesome and amazing work and I just want to tell their story.”
In addition to his photography work, Kenneth also spends time working with the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation to help facilitate investments in the neighborhood he loves so much.
“People need to realize that things are happening in Englewood, and that we give a lot to this city. We want to be recognized for the awesomeness that we have,” he says. “Let’s bring in those investment dollars, those resources that other areas of the city have, and we’ll show you what we can do. Just imagine what’s possible with a little more, with an investment in education and community arts. Could we be a Lincoln Park South? We need to give it a chance.”
This is #EnglewoodRising.