In The News

Illinois Humanities Announces Nearly $200,000 in Statewide Envisioning Justice Grants

Among projects funded are Benedictine University’s Inside-Out Exchange Program, the creation of a restorative justice hub in Decatur, and arts programming with the Mary Davis Detention Home in Galesburg

Illinois Humanities has awarded $190,000 in grants to 28 organizations and individuals to support projects across Illinois that use humanities and arts to respond to the impacts of mass incarceration and enable communities to envision a society that is restorative, healing, and just for all. Illinois Humanities is excited by the range of projects represented, and we look forward to continued partnership with this extraordinary group of grantee partners over the next year – and beyond.

Cook County Projects  

  • 6018North, 6018North
  • Alice Kim, Working Title: Digital Memory Book & Unfurling for the Death Row Ten Campaign
  • Arnold Aprill, Undoing the Cycle of Socialization Through the Arts
  • ConTextos in partnership with The MAAFA Redemption Project, Public Allies, and the Cook County Public Defender’s office, Shifting the Narrative
  • DePaul University, DePaul Art Museum’s Remaking the Exceptional: Tea, Torture, and Reparations
  • Design Museum of Chicago in partnership with the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, Design Museum’s skill-building workshops
  • Elgin Bokari Smith, Stomping Grounds Literary Arts Initiative
  • Fifth House Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble Long Term Residency
  • Guild Literary Complex, Press Room Series
  • Northwestern University, “Re-Imagining Justice”
  • Parole Illinois, Documenting Earned Reentry Success
  • Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project in partnership with the University of Chicago’s Pozen Family Center for Human Rights (Human Rights Lab), Humans of Life Row
  • Storycatchers Theatre, The Post Release Changing Voices Program
  • The Voices and Faces Project, Louder Together
  • Youree Kim, Mutual Aid X ACP

Non-Cook County Projects  

  • Alexandra Antoine, “Our Agreements” (Galesburg)
  • Benedictine University, The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program (Lisle)
  • Education Justice Project, Prison-to-Gown Pathway (Urbana-Champaign)
  • Edna Patterson Petty, Artistic projection addressing the overburdening use of mass incarceration as a lifelong punishment (East St. Louis)
  • Galesburg Civic Art Center, Mary Davis Detention Home programming (Galesburg)
  • Global Restorative Justice Partnership (GRJP) in partnership with the Salvation Army, Creation of a Restorative Justice Hub (Decatur)
  • Illinois Coalition for Higher Education in Prison, IL-CHEP Digital Media Project (Urbana-Champaign)
  • Knox College Department of Peace & Justice Studies, Issues of mass incarceration, (Galesburg)
  • Legacy Training, Inc. in partnership with Restore Justice, Virtual symposium (Grand Chain)
  • Restore Justice Illinois-Children’s Best Interest Project in partnership with the Women’s Justice Institutes Reclamation Project, The Children’s Best Interest Project (CBIP), Statewide
  • Shakespeare Corrected, The Autumn Taylor Initiative (Decatur)
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Professional learning series (Champaign)

Funding for Envisioning Justice is made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Art for Justice Fund, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. 

Learn more about the Envisioning Justice grants program.  


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 at and on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn @ILHumanities.