Unveiling “Tina Lifford Way.”Photo by Dwayne Logan

“I am about to go into my old home for the first time since the ’60s” said Tina Lifford, moments before she entered her childhood home on the corner of Hartrey Avenue and Church Street. While she was inside, family members, old friends and community members gathered on both corners to wait for the unveiling of the honorary street sign “Tina Lifford Way.”

Nearly a year ago, Shorefront submitted an application for the honorary street name, supported by Fifth Ward Alderman Robin Rue Simmons. “The world knows her as Aunt Vi from ‘Queen Sugar,’ but we know her as Tina from Foster School,” said Ald. Rue Simmons. She added, “I’m thrilled to welcome Tina home in celebration of a brilliant career and a lifetime of service. I hope this street-naming inspires residents, young and seasoned, to live a fulfilled and intentional life.”

The unveiling, held on Aug. 18, included short presentations by Ald. Rue Simmons, Shorefront founder Dino Robinson and actress/author Ms. Lifford.  A reception at the Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center followed.

“…I’ve got a lot of great memories about this place called Evanston, Illinois,” Ms. Lifford  said. She said she believes in giving back to the community that raised her. On the previous day, Aug. 17, she shared her empowerment movement, The Inner Fitness Outer Beauty Tour, with an audience at the Morton Civic Center. More than 100 gathered to celebrate the strength and power of women. The event featured Sanina Ellison Jones, co-owner and managing broker of Chicago Homes Realty, and Lisa Laude of Lift Your Life Conferences. The City of Evanston, the Evanston Public Library and Northwestern University were co-sponsors.

Ms. Lifford, who has played more than 100 characters on the big screen over the past 25 years, spent the first 10 years of her life in Evanston, attending Foster, Washington and Chute schools before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. She currently stars on OWN’s critically acclaimed “Queen Sugar.”

As a published author in the self-help arena, recognized playwright and CEO of The Inner Fitness Project, Ms. Lifford offers women a view of what is possible in their lives, including practical ways to invest in their own emotional well-being and make their dreams a reality.