Envisioning Justice RE:ACTION: A just and restorative future for all

RE:ACTION Exhibition

Featuring new multidisciplinary works created by Illinois artists, humanists, and collectives, this exhibition addresses the many injustices embedded in our criminal legal system and devises new perspectives and strategies toward a world without mass incarceration. Explore dynamic works of visual art, creative writing, music, film, scholarship, and more.

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A painting of a black girl surrounded by bright flowers, wearing a yellow shirt that reads, "FREE."

"Diana Free" by Antonio Burton (2021, acrylic on canvas)

Activation Kit

Take Action! Artists, humanists, and community partners have designed more than a dozen ways to interrogate our relationships to the carceral state, encourage healing, and put new perspectives into practice. Step into the Activation Kit, complete a prompt, and share your "RE:ACTION" with others.

A group participating a peace circle facilitated by Circles & Ciphers

Alicia Brown of Circles & Ciphers facilitates an "Activation Day" workshop at Illinois Humanities' 2019 Envisioning Justice exhibition, 2019, Photo by Haley Scott.

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Activation Kit

What is Envisioning Justice?

Envisioning Justice leverages the arts and humanities to envision alternatives to the enduring injustice of mass incarceration. This Illinois Humanities initiative works with communities and people impacted by mass incarceration to spark conversation and illuminate community-based strategies that address our racist and unjust criminal legal system.

More About Envisioning Justice
A crowd of people clapping. A man in front wears a shirt that reads "Rhyme / Flow / Write / Grow."

Image from the "Protest in Fashion Show" in partnership with Circles & Ciphers, 2019, Photo by Haley Scott.

An audience of people listening to a presenter sitting on a stool and holding a book

Randall Horton leads a lecture at Illinois Humanities' Elective Studies Supper Club, 2018, Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis.

About Illinois Humanities

Illinois Humanities, the Illinois affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a statewide nonprofit organization that activates the humanities through free public programs, grants, and educational opportunities that foster reflection, spark conversation, build community, and strengthen civic engagement. Our mission is to strengthen the social, political, and economic fabric of Illinois through constructive conversation and community engagement.

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A painting of a black girl surrounded by bright flowers, wearing a yellow shirt that reads, "FREE."

"Diana Free" by Antonio Burton (2021, acrylic on canvas)

CHICAGO READER, APRIL 4 — ‘We can imagine our way into something else’

'Envisioning Justice RE:ACTION expands community-driven efforts to imagine a future without mass incarceration.'

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Collage of materials related to a criminal case, including news articles and photos

Image design by Anna Jo Beck.

After 34 years, a murder conviction quietly reversed in 4 minutes

Since Maya’s piece was first published, developments in James Allen’s case led to one of his convictions being overturned. Read Maya’s update on Allen’s case, published Sept. 15, 2021 in Injustice Watch.

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A miniature replica of a cell at Guantanamo

Debi Cornwall and Djamel Ameziane, “Comfort Items, Camp 5 (Stop lying to the world),” 2015/Photo: Courtesy of the artists

The Craft of Reparations: DePaul Art Museum Connects Local and International State Violence

Read a compelling interview with commissioned artists Amber Ginsburg and Aaron Hughes about their "Remaking the Exceptional" exhibition at DePaul Art Museum.

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