Illinois Humanities Announces Envisioning Justice Dialogues

By: Illinois Humanities - Envisioning Justice
CHICAGO - July 17, 2018 - PRLog -- Illinois Humanities today announced that grants for a series of "Justice Dialogues" were approved to help spark community-based discussions across the city of Chicago as a part of Envisioning Justice. (Topics and locations are listed below.)

Envisioning Justice is a two-year initiative that uses the arts and humanities to engage Chicagoans of all neighborhoods, races, ethnicities, backgrounds and ideologies in a citywide conversation about the impact of incarceration on local communities.

The Justice Dialogues are meant to give people across the city a chance to be part of open, community conversations on mass incarceration and related themes. They may feature the arts, a performance, a speaker, or a panel -- but all have dialogue baked into the event so that people who attend can participate, ask questions and air their views. Overall, they are meant to be a mechanism for taking the conversations - starting at the hub level, outward to different neighborhoods, demographic groups, differing levels of interaction with the criminal justice system.

"Groups who received the grants applied to host a Justice Dialogue in an open call for submissions. This first round is exciting because it includes such a variety of organizations, venues and audiences - from the far south to the far north sides, a church, a community college, a school focused on youth civic engagement, a documentary film group, a performing arts group, and others," according to Mark Hallett, Program Manager for Grants and Partnerships at Illinois Humanities.

Initial support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge (, allowed for the grants to the following organizations serving vastly different Chicago communities which will facilitate conversations on the larger issues of re-inventing the criminal justice system.

The Justice Dialogues include:

1. Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts and South Asian American Policy Research Institute will sponsor The Ahimsa End to Violence Discussion Series on 7/13 at the Shedd Park (3660 W. 23rd St),  7/20 Oz Park (2021 N. Burling St), 8/18 Indian Boundary Park (2500 W. Lunt Ave). All sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m.    Partners include Chicago Park District; the sessions will include dance and dialogue.

2. New Life Baptist Church of Chicago led by Dr. Robert House will host
The Community Speaks dialogues on  7/11, 7/25, at 5:00 p.m. and on 8/12  at 1:00 p.m. at 11026 S. Indiana Ave. in Chicago. Topics include jobs, schooling, housing, education, crime, gangs and police relationships in the black community.

3. The Japanese American Service Committee will host a Memories of Now speakers series on 7/24, 8/21, and dates to be announced in September and October.  The dialogues will be held at the Japanese American Service Committee headquarters at 4427 N. Clark St. in Chicago.  The topics are as follows: 1. Postwar Japanese American War Brides in Chicago with Sonia Gomez on 7/24; 2. Joint program i2i (Invisible 2 Invincible) connecting with BLM issues on 8/21; 3. Japanese American music in postwar Chicago, Mariko Anno, and on a date TBA ; 4. Disability issues in Japanese American community, Akemi Nishida, UIC, date TBA

4. Social Change dialogue will be guided by Todd Belcore "Less Conversation, More Change" Dialogues will be held on 7/ 23 at Taste 222 , and 7/30 at the Northwestern School of Law. All Programs run from  5:45-7:30 p.m. Topics will include conversations on ways in which economic, physical and government violence have devastated communities as well as moving into community building and creating safe spaces.

5. Experimental Station dialogues will be hosted by Matthew Searle and focus on Visualizing Racial Justice.  Discussions will be held 7/30, 8/7, 8/15, 8/19.

6. The Community Film Workshop of Chicago will host dialogues produced by Margaret Caples on Girls, Gangs and Guns: A Growing Problem on 9/29 and 10/6.

7. Chicago Freedom School will host dialogues produced by Laura Ramirez on Intersections of Mass Incarceration, Immigration and Youth: Can we imagine a future without jails? on 9/6, 9/20, 10/4 and 10/18.

8. Truman College's Diversity and Inclusion Committee will host discussions on Losing Our Identity: The Effects of Gentrification. Dates TBD.

For additional information on specific dialogue event topics, times and locations visit: Envisioning Justice (

There will be a second round of grants with an Oct. 15th deadline for projects in the Stories and Public Opinion category. In addition, there will be additional opportunities for groups to apply to host dialogues around the criminal justice system. These microgrants, called Illinois Speaks "Justice Dialogues," have deadlines of Sept. 15 (2018) and Feb. 15 (2019). For more information, reach out to Mark Hallett at

About Illinois Humanities: Our mission is to strengthen the social, political and economic fabric of Illinois through constructive conversation and community engagement.

About Envisioning Justice ( Created and facilitated by Illinois Humanities, Envisioning Justice will engage Chicagoans, of all neighborhoods, races, socio-economic backgrounds, and with a diversity of perspectives, in a citywide conversation about the impact of incarceration in local communities and will invite residents to use the arts and humanities to devise strategies for lessening this impact. Envisioning Justice seeks to strengthen efforts to reimagine our criminal legal system and is inspired by the goals of justice, accountability, safety, support, and restoration for all people.  Follow #Envisioning Justice at @EnvisioningJustice on Facebook ( and @envisionjustice onTwitter (

Kitty Kurth
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Tags:Illinois Humanities, Incarceration, Cook County Jail
Location:Chicago - Illinois - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Jul 17, 2018
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