The Justice Fleet Mobile Museums Win Grant to Engage the Community
The Missouri Humanities Council (MHC) has awarded a grant of $10,000 to The Justice
Fleet to take interactive art-activism into communities not normally served by traditional
museums in an effort to inspire dialogue, play and community healing.
The MHC is the only statewide agency in Missouri devoted exclusively to humanities
education for all citizens of all ages. It has served as a state affiliate of the
National Endowment for the Humanities since 1971.
As a passion project of Amber Johnson, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication
at Saint Louis University, The Justice Fleet ventures into a variety of neighborhoods
to engage community members in discussions about implicit and explicit bias, social
justice and communal healing through intergroup dialogue, play and art activism.
“I started The Justice Fleet because I wanted to take the activities that I used in
the classroom out into communities beyond the campus to try and make a difference
on a larger scale,” Johnson said. “My goals are to re-imagine the ‘social’ in social
justice, or what we do with others to create a more just society.”
The first exhibit in production engages community members in a dialogue about radical
forgiveness – the profound notion that we don’t have to live with fear, pain, hostility,
or injustice because we have control over the way we perceive, understand and act.
Radical forgiveness is a fluid and deliberate process that allows people to heal the
wounds of injustice.
“Based on student feedback and watching them grow into humans capable of empathy and
compassion, I knew that what I was doing in the classroom was special and worth sharing
with larger audiences,” Johnson said. “I target populations that museums ostracize:
for inane, senior citizens living in nursing homes, citizens utilizing adult day care
facilities, transient youth, children attending under resourced community schools
and people living without homes that utilize shelters.” To get involved with the Justice
Fleet Mobile Museums or for more information, visit www.TheJusticeFleet.com.
For more information about the grants program of the Missouri Humanities Council,
call 314-781-9660, 1-800-357-1905, or write the MHC, 543 Hanley Industrial Court,
Suite 205, St. Louis, MO 63144-1905.
Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence,
life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith
Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development
of nearly 13,000 students on campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on
a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with
an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.