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Meet the Founder

Dr. Amber Johnson

As a scholar/artist/activist, Dr. Johnson 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. Johnson is an Associate 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 Excellence 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. 

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