What We Do

The Justice Fleet is a mobile network of experiences that foster community healing through art, play, and dialogue. Housed inside of box trucks, each mobile exhibit ventures into various neighborhoods to engage community members in discussions about implicit and explicit bias, social justice, and empathy. 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 Imagination invites the community to come together to imagine new systems and build a world without injustice. Radical Forgiveness and Radical Imagination are fluid and deliberate processes that allows us to heal the wounds from injustice. Additional exhibits include Transfuturism and Black Girl Magic. 

Project Goals & Learning Outcomes

Target Audiences The Justice Fleet Mobile Museums emphasize radical inclusion by taking interactive art-activism collections that inspire dialogue, play, and community healing into neighborhoods not normally served by traditional Museums. Therefore, the Justice Fleet has several target audiences. The Radical Forgiveness, Radical Imagination, and Transfuturism exhibits are designed to be able to go into neighborhoods with various demographics. All American citizens can benefit from engaging forgiveness of the self and others, learning to critically imagine a better world, and learning about how to better understand gender as a social construct. The Black Girl Magic exhibit is intended to impact black girls specifically. Each exhibit has different learning outcomes that will be measured via surveys that patrons will be asked to fill out following their participation with the trucks and ethnographic observation and field notes. Learning Outcomes Radical Forgiveness While visiting the truck, patrons will be able to: 1. Reflect on the importance of forgiveness and letting go of pain, hate, and fear that stem from our implicit and explicit biases. 2. Apply radical forgiveness in our immediate lives. 3. Begin to see difference as something worth celebrating in an effort to re-humanize people who are different. 4. Engage in dialogue with people who are different from us in an effort to re-humanize those who are different. Transfuturism While visiting the truck, patrons will be able to: 1. Explore gender as a social construct. 2. Learn about the inequality an injustice that trans and gender non-conforming people experience. 3. Celebrate the varying manifestations of gender in trans and gender non-conforming people. 4. Re-humanize trans and gender non-conforming people through dialogue in an effort to reduce discursive and physical violence. Black Girl Magic While visiting the truck, patrons will be able to: 1. Engage in dialogue about the inequality and injustices Black girls, women, and femmes experience. 2. Humanize black girls. 3. Create space for Black girls to explore their own identities and celebrate their differences. 4. Spark excitement, love, communal healing, and empowerment for black girls through play. Radical Imagination While visiting the truck, patrons will be able to: 1. Spark critical and imaginative ideas around ways to better our world. 2. Engage in dialogue around what it means to critically imagine. 3. Engage in an experiential learning exercise designed to help patrons think critically about societal structures and the injustices they create for different groups of people. Strategy The outsides of the exhibits are designed to invite people in and welcome them to the different spaces. The exhibits will travel to communities and “pop up” at community organizations, in parks, in busy parking lots, on busy streets, outside of museums, on or near college campuses, at music festivals, and during organized community events throughout the United States. We are working with several community partners to create a tour schedule. Our social media sites will advertise our locations and allow people to participate from remote locations. Our website and social media handles will help people stay connected and follow the whereabouts of each truck.

History of the Justice Fleet

As a communication and social justice scholar/artist/activist, my work trajectory focuses on the “social” aspects of social justice, or the “things” we do with others in dialogue, performance, and community to create a more just society. The Justice Fleet started with The Forgiveness Quilt. I noticed that when I introduced my students to systemic oppression, institutionalized racism, and privilege, they became paralyzed with guilt. I couldn’t allow them to rest in that posture, so I created an activity to teach them how to re-process their guilt through forgiveness. I chose forgiveness with intention. I remembered being an undergraduate and learning about social injustice, body and tone policing, and identity management. It was in the classroom that I first wrestled with what it means to forgive myself and others. It only seemed appropriate to begin where my journey as a professor started. You can read about that journey here. The Forgiveness Quilt activity served as a point of departure from guilt into activism for myself and many of the students. The Radical Forgiveness exhibit grew out of a desire to take this activity into communities and spread the healing powers of forgiveness beyond the university. Once I procured grant money and a truck to begin building the mobile museum, I began dreaming of developing my other social identity-based research projects on Trans identity and Afrofuturism, Black Girl Magic, and Radical Imagination. This Justice Fleet idea grew out of a yearning to take what I do with my students in the classroom and in my research to communities not traditionally included in the academic setting. Based on teaching evaluations and the growth I witness in my students, I know that how I teach and what I teach is powerful. Now I want to impact others beyond the college campus. The Justice Fleet is booking tours for 2018!

Mission Statement

The Justice Fleet Museum is a mobile network of experiences that foster healing through art, play, and dialogue.

About Us

Meet the Board

Meet the Founder

Dr. Amber Johnson

As a scholar/artist/activist, Dr. Johnson’s aims to define the language, exigency, sound, and aesthetics of various social movements. Their research and activism focus on performances of identity, protest, and social justice in digital and lived spaces. As a polymath, their mixed-media artistry involves working with metals, recycled and reclaimed goods, photography, poetry, percussion, and paint to interrogate systems of oppression. Dr. Johnson’s academic teaching and research directly inform their creative process. Illuminating systems of oppression in the classroom for over a decade, Amber finds that art transcends language and helps students and audiences alike view oppression and social justice from alternative spaces. Thus, they use several artistic elements within the classroom, as well as their own creative process outside of the classroom to help deepen their commitment to activism and social justice. Amber began working with metals, paint, and photography in 2008, and added recycled and reclaimed goods in 2014. They began teaching photography and installation art in 2011. As a member of AndroBeat, Amber plays percussion. As the creator of The Justice Fleet, Dr. Johnson wanted to experiment with mobile museums and social justice inquiry, ethnography, and art activism as methodology to address social injustice and urban engagement. The mobile museums, housed inside of box trucks, go into different communities to talk about social justice, self-love, community, and healing through intergroup dialogue, play, and art activism. 

Dr. Amber Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Saint Louis University. Their research trajectory merges qualitative and rhetorical research design in the areas of identity, social justice, performance, art activism, and digital media. Amber is an award-winning scholar and teacher, including the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award for their research on black masculinity and the performative possibilities of social media, the Lilla A. Heston award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies for their work on embodied pedagogies and social justice, and the recipient of the Faculty Excellent Award for Diversity and Social Justice. Amber has published articles in several journals including Qualitative Inquiry, Critical Studies in Media and Communication, Text & Performance Quarterly, Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, and Communication Quarterly. Their forthcoming book, Rainbow in the Clouds: A Letter to my Genderfluid Child, blends poetic narrative, autocritography, and memoir. 

Community Partners

The Justice Fleet is a community inspired endeavor that could not exist without its community partners. Each exhibit is a product of meetings, critical imagination, and collaborative energy with community always in mind. We are very thankful to the following artists, contractors, educators, museum professionals, thinkers, and community members. 

Caleb Vanden Boom- Graphic Designer

Aaron W. Sutton, Artist,  Visual Goodies-SoulmeC

Meet the Board

Cynthia Graville, Board President 

Cynthia Graville is an Instructor of Converging Communication Technology and Director of the Communication Media Lab at Saint Louis University. Currently, she is enrolled as a doctoral student in the Teaching and Learning Division of the College of Education at UMSL. She was the recipient of ASTC's Roy A. Shafer Leading Edge Award for New Leadership in the Field (2008.) 

Her work as an activist, graphic artist, and educator unite in her National Science Foundation funded grant project that hires high school students to work as infographic  scientist. Youth from marginalized communities have access to employment, health benefits, and education as agents versus subjects. 

Cynthia Graville is also an influential maker space pioneer who brings maker spaces into institutions not normally recognized in the field of STEM, like juvenile detention centers and shelters for people experiencing homeless. 

Monica O. Montgomery

Monica O. Montgomery is an international keynote, graduate professor, museum director and cultural entrepreneur, curating media and museums to be in service to society. She recently spoke at TedX Charlottesville and a winner of the 2016 Arts Entrepreneurship Award from Fractured Atlas. She is the founding director and chief curator of Museum of Impact the world’s first mobile social justice museum, inspiring action at the intersection of art, activism, self and society. She curates Museum of Impact’s traveling exhibits, examining current events, creative resilience, human rights and social movements.

Additionally, Monica is the Strategic Director of Museum Hue a multicultural platform, advocating diversity, inclusion and advancing people of color, in arts, culture museums and creative economy. As a sought after public speaker and coach for executives and career changers, she frequently trains leaders and and partners with universities and museums to facilitate diversity, leadership and equity initiatives. Monica is an alumna of Temple University and LaSalle University, with degrees in Public Relations and Communication. She is an adjunct professor at Harvard University, holding leadership positions in American Alliance of Museums, Museums As Sites of Social Action and AMA UK. She is a dynamic empowerment speaker, educator and facilitator who keynotes at conferences throughout Europe and America. www.monicamontgomery.org

Britt Baker 

Britt Baker, a polymath born into the New Age era, delivers a message that rings true across generations and media: Love is the unifying answer. As varied as their reach, Britt's art forms recount their journey in writing, painting, illustration, capoeira, and music, their primary focus. A composer, singer, and master of nine instruments, Baker believes firmly in the Greek principal, “Music is the understanding of the relationship between invisible and internal objects.” Baker uses their tools to delve deep into the human psyche. Through performance and visualization, they strives to cultivate an environment where the audience can sift through the often-tough process of human existence. Baker's artwork challenges spectators to separate themselves from external reality and ponder unifying questions that link to struggles within social, political, socioeconomic, and identity intersections. Baker engages viewers where they are, as they are, in order to welcome and nurture personal transformation. Sometimes it's gritty; sometimes it's pretty. It is always driven with purpose, passion, and Love.

Wriply M. Bennet 

Amy Bautz 

Amy Bautz is an artist and educator based in St. Louis, Missouri. Represented by Wonderwall studios in Austin, Texas, her artwork is shown and collected nationally. She is an associate professor at Saint Louis University, where she teaches art and design. She is also an animation team member for Blue Peach Media, headquartered in NYC. Originally trained as a photojournalist at the University of Texas at Austin, Ms. Bautz received her M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in painting, photography, and computer art. You can visit Amy Bautz's online portfolio at https://www.behance.net/AmyBautz

Wriply M. Bennet 

Wriply Marie Bennet is a proud, self-taught illustrator, actor, writer and singer born and raised in Ohio. Her organizing work started with the Trans Women of Color Collective and expanded in Ferguson where she was a freedom rider traveling to stand with Mike Brown’s family and community. Wriply’s work expresses the perseverance, power, strength, resilience, grace and beauty of trans women. Her work sheds light on the lack of national outcry over the epidemic of black trans women murdered each year at the hands of state sanctioned violence. Wriply’s art has been used in numerous social justice flyers, and made its first film debut in MAJOR!, a documentary at the 2015 San Francisco Transgender Film Festival.

Tim Huffman

Tim Huffman is an Associate Professor of Communication and Social Justice at Saint Louis University and a fierce advocate and accomplice in the creation and maintenance of The Justice Fleet. His contributions to The Justice Fleet are particularly  clear in the Radical Imagination exhibit, which was inspired by one of Tim's teaching activity, "The Just City. 

Tim is also an activist and scholar who organizes for people experiencing homelessness.  Dr. Huffman's research focuses on social justice organizing, particularly around issues of homelessness. He takes a community-based approach to understanding and promoting socially just communication, like compassion and community. He is committed to improving the way we communicate and organize in response to social justice issues.


Contact Us

​© 2016 Amber Johnson, Assistant Professor, Communication Department, Saint Louis University. 

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