City Hall's Chief Equity Officer said the goal is to broaden the story told by Chicago's existing historical memorials by creating ones that focus on ugly chapters such as the police torture of crime suspects decades ago.
"It's been a long time coming for each of the other grant recipients who breathe life into a vision of justice in telling and remembering the stories of Rekia Boyd, Mahalia Jackson, Mother Jones, the Chicago race riots, just to name a few," said Candace Moore, Chief Equity Officer.
Johnson spoke at a South Side event marking the Mellon Foundation's donation of nearly $7 million to establish or alter the eight historical memorials.
"The impact it's gonna have is not only educating a generation about how these systems fail and harm people, but we also have the ability to tell our stories with our art," said Johnson.
Among the projects the mayor announced, the setting of a memorial to George Washington will be altered by artist Amanda Williams, whose work will be entitled "Other Washingtons."
Other subjects of the memorials include police torture of crime suspects, the displacement of indigenous tribes and union organizer Mother Jones, an Irish immigrant who worked in the 1800s.