Past Event

Envisioning Justice Rapid Response Series: REOPENING


Join us for the third installment of the Envisioning Justice Rapid Response Series, created by Illinois Humanities to share short, original videos featuring perspectives and reflections from humanists, artists, and community organizers working in system-impacted communities amidst the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing calls for Black liberation. During this time when many continue to feel isolated, we hope this series can help to remind us of our undeniable interconnectedness.

Hosted by Tyreece Williams and Jane Beachy
Technical Direction by Tony Santiago

Tune in live Wednesday, July 1st on the Illinois Humanities YouTube Channel.


Over the past few weeks, Illinois has begun reopening ‘non-essential’ businesses in an effort to alleviate the economic hardships felt by individuals and communities during the pandemic. While some are looking forward to returning to the ‘‘normalcy’ of their everyday lives, many system-impacted communities continue to struggle with barriers to care and resources. And while we see momentum behind calls to defund and abolish the police, the currently incarcerated are still in danger due to their inability to social distance within the poor conditions of jails and prisons.

What does reopening say about how we value lives in marginalized communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19? How can we collectively ensure that reopening does not mean that we simply do our best to return how things were?  How can we create systems to support communities for whom ‘normalcy’ has historically meant struggling to have their most basic needs met daily?

Here to weigh in:

AVERY R. YOUNG | interdisciplinary artist & educator
CINDY REED | artist & scholar, East St. Louis
MAHOGANY BROWNE | writer, organizer, & educator, NYC
MYKELE DEVILLE | poet & rapper, Chicago
REBECCA GINSBURG | Education Justice Project, Danville & Champaign
SOJOURNER ZENOBIA | artist & ritual space-holder, Chicago

In case you missed the first two installments of this series, entitled REFUGE & ESSENTIAL SERVICES, you can watch them here.