Johnny Payton

2019 Chicago Peace Fellow
Founding Member, Brothers Standing Together

Johnny Payton is from Cabrini-Green and went to school in the Green’s Sojourner Truth as well as Frederick Von Schiller in Lincoln Park. He watched the place that he called home — once considered “The Worst Neighborhood in the USA” — become the best neighborhood in Chicago. Now, CHICAGO is considered “The Worst City in the world.” Johnny believes that together with a few other like-minded citizens, they can change people’s perspectives about Chicagoans and Chicago. Johnny Payton is a founding member of Brothers Standing Together (BST), a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 2009 to help decrease neighborhood violence in an effort to contribute to a safe environment for children and families beginning with serving our youth. BST mentors teens about the value of education and that violence is not the answer. As a result, a desire to help others avoid his mistake arose, and BST was born. BST’s vision is to see a complete cessation in violence and all people living happy, healthy, and whole lives.

“Our motto at Brothers Standing Together is: Everyone of us is better than anyone one of us.”