About the Series

What does a truly just society look like? How does it feel? How do we get there?

While these questions evoke the deep inequities and complexities of our present and past, their answers are crucial to shaping our future.

Illinois Humanities presents Visions of Justice, an eight-part video series created in partnership with VAM STUDIO that brings together the perspectives of more than 30 Illinoisans spread over seven towns and cities to examine the far-reaching impacts of mass incarceration in our local communities. Join us this fall for eight virtual screenings and panel discussions to hear from an exciting array of Illinois artists, organizers, scholars, and other local residents working to interrogate the foundation of the criminal legal system and advance justice where they live.

In each edition of the Visions of Justice series, Envisioning Justice Fellow Meredith Nnoka hosts conversations with individuals in the communities of Bloomington-Normal, Carbondale, Chicago, Decatur, East St. Louis, Galesburg, and Urbana-Champaign to explore the conversation through a hyperlocal lens. Videos will be available online following each premiere.

See the calendar below to find out more about upcoming virtual screenings, community dialogues, and panel discussions, and to watch new installments after they premiere.

Visions of Justice is produced by Illinois Humanities in partnership with VAM STUDIO and moderated by Illinois Humanities’ Envisioning Justice Fellow, Meredith Nnoka.

Watch the Trailer

The Series

Watch videos from the Visions of Justice series after they premiere, and register to attend upcoming screenings and discussions.

A Decatur, Illinois monument building against a clear sky with a video play buttonDecatur

Watch Visions of Justice: Decatur, featuring interviews with five insightful contributors from the Decatur area: Dana Anderson, Rev. Courtney Carson, Evelyn Hood, Alex Miller, and Lonnie Williams.

Premiered: Sept. 24, 2021

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a city street with a large video play buttonBloomington-Normal

Watch Visions of Justice: Bloomington-Normal, featuring interviews with five insightful contributors from the Bloomington-Normal area: Ky Ajayi, Olivia Butts, Heather Canuel, Jenn Carrillo, and Gabe Cripe.

Premiered: Oct. 5, 2021

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A mural of Chicago in bright colorsChicago

Watch Visions of Justice: Chicago, featuring interviews with local residents working toward justice in their community: Eric Blackmon, Denzel Burke, Alice Kim, and Beth Richie.

Premiered: Oct. 7, 2021

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A Carbondale, Illinois clock tower with a video play buttonCarbondale

Watch Visions of Justice: Carbondale, featuring interviews with four insightful contributors from the Carbondale area: Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, LaGina Crim, Chastity Mays, and Nick Smaligo.

Premiered: Oct. 12, 2021

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An image looking through bars at a sunsetGalesburg

Watch Visions of Justice: Galesburg, featuring interviews with four men currently serving long-term sentences at Hill Correctional Center: Brandon, Brian, Cincere, and Omar.

Premiered: Oct. 19, 2021

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View of St. Louis arch from East St. LouisEast St. Louis

Watch Visions of Justice: East St. Louis, featuring interviews with five local residents working toward justice in their community: TraVonn Jones, Tiara Moore, Edna Patterson-Petty, Sandra Pfeifer, Andrew Theising.

Premiered: Oct. 22, 2021

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A historic building in Urbana-Champaign against a cloudy blue skyUrbana-Champaign

October 27, 2021 | 6:00 p.m. CT | Online Event

Illinois Humanities cohosts the premiere of Visions of Justice: Urbana-Champaign with partners WIN Recovery and FirstFollowers, followed by a panel discussion with local contributors and a Q&A.

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A closeup of the Illinois State Capital buildingVisions of Justice: Illinois

November 18, 2021 | Time TBA | Online Event

The Visions of Justice series culminates Nov. 18 with Visions of Justice: Illinois as we take in the totality of conversations taking place throughout the state about justice and mass incarceration, and consider what we can learn from the perspectives shared throughout the series.

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Visions of Justice: Illinois

Save the Date for the Series Finale

The Visions of Justice series will culminate with the release of Visions of Justice: Illinois, a screening and panel discussion foregrounding conversations about carceral justice taking place throughout the state. Save the date for the final virtual screening and panel discussion on November 18, 2021.

Learn more


Follow the Conversation

The Visions of Justice series brings together Illinoisans from all walks of life to share how the carceral system impacts our communities. Join the conversation on social media by following @ILHumanities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and use the hashtag #EnvisioningJustice to share your experience.