Our country rests at a pivotal moment of political divisiveness around social identities. We are constantly confronted with negative imagery, stereotypes, oppressive language, and violence. These images and experiences embed themselves into our thoughts and minds, creating a culture of fear around our own biases and prejudices. The Radical Imagination exhibit focuses on creating a space for people to imagine a just world where liberation and freedom from oppression are possible.

The Radical Imagination exhibit ventures into communities and creates a maker space with reclaimed goods, craft items, and miscellaneous art supplies. People work in groups to create their just worlds from the available supplies. Then, as a large group, we talk about their worlds, the societal structures they built, how those structures challenge or perpetuate social problems, and ways we can begin changing our lived world. The just cities and conversations are documented and photographed and become part of the exhibit's display to encourage more dialogue, questions, and imagination.

Since its initial launch, Radical Imagination has been used in countless ways around the country. Below is a short list of how it has shown up and supported change:

  • in classroom settings for teaching and brainstorming around social justice

  • at academic conferences creating space for more diverse and divergent conversations

  • within nonprofit organizations for capacity building, strategic planning, and internal transformation

  • at community events to add generative, fun, and insightful conversation spaces

  • in public libraries to provide educational experiences for youth and community members

  • in public museums for staff training and community engagement

  • within homeless shelters to facilitate guests' healing and center their experiences in design solutions

  • with housing communities to help members' voices be heard in broader circles

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Contemplative Space
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Issues
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Follow the Justice Fleet

​© 2021 Amber Johnson, Associate Professor, Communication Department, Saint Louis University.