The Chicago Tribune’s Darcel Rockett spoke with Envisioning Justice Program Manager Tyreece Williams about the evolution of the program and its latest exhibition, Envisioning Justice RE:ACTION, in a recently published story.
The interactive platform launched in March of 2022 as a unique new approach to the program’s mission to leverage the arts and humanities as essential tools for Illinoisans to envision alternatives to mass incarceration.
“There are so many conversations to be had, as to why we’ve gotten to this point where we’re incarcerating people and criminalizing them at such disproportionate rates,” Williams said. “Bringing people together for a shared experience around an art piece or an exhibition or film, all of those things create access points for folks who aren’t already engaged in the conversation.”
Since the launch of RE:ACTION, Illinois Humanities has awarded $28,000 in grants for organizations and individuals to host events in their communities throughout the state using the platform’s interactive prompts to complete an activity together. By creating opportunities for individuals to learn and apply new knowledge with others in the communities where they live, the program aims to support the work already being done by artists, educators, organizers, scholars, and others to redress the injustices inherent to the criminal legal system.
For Williams, showing up for its partners is at the heart of Envisioning Justice’s role. “Illinois Humanities, we’re not an advocacy organization. But what we can do is advocate for new ideas, advocate for new approaches and advocate for new platforms to share how folks are envisioning justice.”
Read the full story in The Chicago Tribune.