Meet the Founder
Dr. Amber Johnson
As a scholar/artist/activist, Dr. Johnson aims to illuminate 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. Amber is also a percussionist and once played for the band, AndroBeat.
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.
As a scholar/artist/activist, Dr. Johnson’s research and activism focus on narratives of identity, protest, healing, and social justice in digital media, popular media, and everyday lived experiences. 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 and create capacity for different, critical futures. Dr. Amber Johnson is the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff in the Division for Equity & Inclusion at University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the administrative team at UC Berkeley, Dr. Johnson served as an award-winning Professor of Communication and Social Justice and as Executive Director and co-founder of The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity at Saint Louis University. Dr. Johnson specializes in community engagement, humanizing equity, and exploring the relationship between healing justice and equity. Dr. Johnson is also the founding director of The Justice Fleet ™, a mobile social justice museum that fosters healing through art, dialogue, pleasure, and play. Dr. Johnson created The Justice Fleet to experiment with methodologies that re-imagine community engagement, healing justice, humanized equity, and critical futures.