Envisioning Justice

Hero EJ Program

Since 2017, Envisioning Justice has created free public arts and humanities programs in partnership with communities and people affected by the carceral system and provided grant funding for individuals, nonprofits, and collectives. Learn more about upcoming events, watch our past programs, download resources, and learn about grant funding below.

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    Guests create a group artwork at an Envisioning Justice Activation event in Carbondale. (Photo by CM Designs & Photography)

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    Tyreece Williams (left), program manager of Envisioning Justice, speaks with panelists about their reentry experiences. (Photo by Glitter Guts)

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    The subject of a painting by Toni Picasso (Antonio Burton) poses with their portrait at an event in Carbondale, Ill. (Photo by CM Designs & Photography)

  • EJ Gallery Vershawn Sanders Ward 2018

    Artist Vershawn Sanders-Ward performs at an Envisioning Justice event.

  • EJ Gallery WTTW Meredith cr Glitter Guts Photo

    Illinois Humanities Community Educator Meredith Nnoka presents a poem by Jimmie Moody, an incarcerated writer, at a program presented by WTTW's FIRSTHAND: Life After Prison and Illinois Humanities. (Photo by Glitter Guts)

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    Participants in a performance artwork by Gabriel Villa enter the gallery space at SAIC where Envisioning Justice the Envisioning Justice Exhibition in 2019. (Photo by Haley Scott)

2023 Envisioning Justice Activation Series

Join us at an upcoming Activation event near you!

Illinois Humanities is collaborating with community organizations in six Illinois towns to host free public arts and educational programs for all ages. 

These six events featuring the artists, educators, and organizers behind Envisioning Justice RE:ACTION create opportunities for us to reimagine timely conversations about justice, safety, community, and belonging. 

Together, we’ll share stories, write poetry, see art, ask big questions, and learn from the wisdom each of us holds. 

Our ideas will contribute to the growing archive of community responses to mass incarceration on the RE:ACTION website


Upcoming Events

Toni Picasso 90 cr CM Designs Photography

Envisioning Justice Grants

Grantmaking is a critical component of Envisioning Justice. Through the Envisioning Justice grants program, Illinois Humanities partners with groups throughout the state to use the arts and humanities to spark statewide conversations about the impact of mass incarceration, envision community-based solutions, and facilitate healing. 

Envisioning Justice offers two grant opportunities: Grants of up to $5,000 are available to individuals; Grants of up to $10,000 are available to organizations and collectives.

Envisioning Justice RE:ACTION

Browse dynamic works of visual art, creative writing, music, film, scholarship, and more in Envisioning Justice RE:ACTION, an interactive virtual exhibition and Activation Kit created by Illinois artists and humanists to deepen our understanding of our punitive criminal legal system and its personal, local, and global impacts. Experience their work and put what you learn into practice in the Activation Kit, with more than a dozen prompts to lead you through real-world activities to question our relationships to the carceral state, encourage healing, and share how you envision justice.


Visit the exhibition

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Tea Project (Aaron Hughes and Amber Ginsburg)
Reparations Now! | The Dynamo and The Black Box


Stay Tuned for Upcoming Events

More Events

Explore Past Programs

View highlights from recent virtual programs on our YouTube channel.

Illinois Humanities on YouTube

Visions of Justice: A 7-part video series about the impacts of the carceral state on 7 Illinois communities (2021). Watch the full series on YouTube.

Rapid Response: A virtual event series featuring curated performances and presentations by artists and advocates (2020-2021). Watch the full series on YouTube.


The Envisioning Justice RE:ACTION Workbook (2023)

The RE:ACTION Workbook includes 10 unique activities designed especially for incarcerated individuals, with step-by-step instructions that invite individuals and pairs to start conversations, learn from one another, foster healing, and share how they envision justice. Created by and for people with lived experience of incarceration, the Workbook was built from the conviction that art, writing, and shared conversation have the power to create change. View the Workbook and request printed copies on the RE:ACTION website. 

View the Workbook

Envisioning Justice RE:VISION Companion Guide (2020)

Created as a companion to the 2020 program, Envisioning Justice RE:VISION, viewable above, the companion guide offers resources, inspiration, and additional readings curated by the Envisioning Justice team and our collaborators. 


Contact Us

Program Manager

(312) 374-1565