Press Release

Illinois Humanities Visions of Justice series will conclude with statewide event

Video and conversation series invites communities to explore the questions: “What does a truly just society look like? How do we get there?”

Visions of Justice Illinois promotional banner

CHICAGO, NOVEMBER 16, 2021— This fall, Illinois Humanities presented seven Visions of Justice video screenings and community conversations examining the local impacts of mass incarceration. Foregrounding perspectives from 35 Illinoisans working to envision and advance justice in seven communities, each event premiered a video highlighting a particular place in Illinois followed by a facilitated conversation with local residents. Illinois Humanities’ Envisioning Justice Fellow, Meredith Nnoka, moderated the program series designed to highlight the connections among communities both large and small throughout the state. The series will culminate with a statewide Visions of Justice: Illinois screening and conversation on November 18, 2021.

Visions of Justice asks people who have first-hand experience with the carceral system, ‘What does a truly just society look like? How do we get there?’ Their answers illuminate deep inequities, complexities, and connections. These videos, and the local conversations paired with them, have given us a much needed chance to hear—and learn from—each other throughout the state. It has been inspiring to learn more about the solutions and strategies being employed across Illinois to create a truly just future,” said Gabrielle Lyon, Illinois Humanities’ Executive Director.

The virtual screening will be preceded by opening remarks from Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and followed by a panel discussion with statewide contributors, including Aisha Edwards from the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge; strong>Garien Gatewood from the Illinois Justice Project; Renaldo Hudson, an educator and organizer at the Illinois Prison Project; and James Kilgore, a Fellow at MediaJustice and the Advocacy and Outreach Director for FirstFollowers. A Q&A with the panelists will be held after the discussion.

The Visions of Justice video series, produced in partnership with VAM STUDIO, features interviews with artists, organizers, and system-impacted individuals who interrogate the criminal legal system, explore its impacts on their communities, and propose what would need to change to create a society that is just and restorative for all.

Visions of Justice shows us that every day, in any corner of our state, Illinoisans from all walks of life are having difficult conversations about how mass incarceration harms their communities and what they can do to stop it,” said Nnoka. “Throughout the fall, this series has supported and celebrated those conversations wherever they’ve happened.”

The event will take place on Thursday, November 18, 2021, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. CT. This online event is free and open to the public, and registration is required.

For more information on Visions of Justice, visit:


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. We provide free, high-quality humanities experiences throughout Illinois, particularly for communities of color, individuals living on low incomes, counties and towns in rural areas, small arts and cultural organizations, and communities highly impacted by mass incarceration. Founded in 1974, Illinois Humanities is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

Learn more about Illinois Humanities at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ILHumanities.