For a long time now, I’ve stood by a belief: the only people that refer to Chicago as “Chi-Town” are either tourists, distant suburbanites, or rappers looking for a shortcut. And I’ll never refer to the city as “Chiraq” and side-eye anyone that does. But I’m not against all nicknames for the city that raised me, just the corny ones. As a matter of fact, a local teenager has been working diligently for the past few months to popularize the city’s lesser known nickname – “The Go.”
Raven Smith, a student at Morgan Park High School, first got the idea for the “Straight From the Go” t-shirt campaign during winter break, according to DNAChicago. Since then, the shirts have made multiple appearances on television and radio programs and have been sold in locations all throughout the city. All with the help of a positive message.
“I want to let people know that Chicago is a good place to come,” Smith said.
Smith has actually sold close to 1,000 t-shirts since January and they can be found in a number of locations, including Belle Up, a maternity and women’s clothing store with locations both in Beverly and in the city’s downtown, on the Magnificent Mile.
“I knew my customer base would love the tees. But, more importantly, I wanted to work with Raven because I strongly believe that it’s important to give young people — especially young entrepreneurs — a platform,” said McCoy, the owner of the fashion boutique.
A portion of all of the proceeds from the shirts’ sales go to community organizations through some form of donations. For example, Smith already made a $250 donation to her alma mater to help keep its Spanish teacher from being eliminated due to midyear budget offsets. The funds will also be used to help offer rewards to citizens that come forward with important information about serious crimes.
Next up for Smith will be attending Millikin University in Decatur, IL, where she plans to continue the company during her studies in athletic training.
While “the Go” isn’t necessarily a new moniker, it’s far better than an alternative nicknames that I’ve already typed once and refuse to do so again. The positive message tied to the nickname and the worthy causes part of its proceeds will go towards will hopefully help rebrand the city that truly has plenty of wonderful things to offer.
Photo Courtesy: Twitter