Social Justice Artist


2021 Illinois Public Humanities Awardee

On Thursday, May 20, 2021, Tonika Johnson and acclaimed photographer Dawoud Bey were honored as Illinois Humanities’ 2021 Public Humanities Award recipients, nominated and selected by humanists from across Illinois. They were both identified as visual storytellers whose works cross media boundaries in ways that bring diverse audiences and stories together.

Established in 1984, the Public Humanities Award luncheon celebrates people who have made an indelible impact on our state through their work in and support of the humanities. This event is Illinois Humanities most important annual fundraiser and enables us to provide free public humanities programs and grants across the state.

On May 20, 2021 Illinois Humanites hosted their high-energy, one-hour virtual show featuring performances, stories, and intimate time with awardees Dawoud Bey and Tonika Lewis Johnson, photographers and activists both. Click to watch the full event.

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