Rooted Solutions: Black farmers cultivating food sovereignty in Indianapolis

“200,000 Indianapolis residents live in food deserts. Low income communities of color are the most impacted by lack of access to fresh food. But communities are responding to these challenges by creating and controlling their own food destinies.”

So begins the story of “Rooted Solutions,” a story-telling and production by KI’s social enterprise KINuMedia, led by young filmmaker Keenan Rhodes.

The documentary follows the path of three communities of color and their resourceful, practical-yet-visionary response when the Double 8 grocery stores serving lower-income neighborhoods across the city closed down one day without notice to its employees or customers. News coverage described it as a “shock and a punch in the gut to the neighborhood,” removing both access to fresh food and employment for the stores’ surrounding areas.

“Rooted Solutions” highlights black farmers that have responded to this community gut-punch by rewriting their communities’ narratives through creating fresh food solutions for their neighborhoods.

in the documentary, urban farmer La’Kiyah Muhammad observes, “Community is just as important as the actual process of growing food. Without community you don’t really have the desire to grow food. One of the low impacts is connecting our community with the best part of the tribulations that we’ve been through. I think a lot of us want to discard the farming aspects because it’s so painful because of the the generational curses of slavery. However, the lawyer, the doctor, the nurse, everybody needs to eat. So one of the low impact is getting the community to see the importance of having our own, being self-sustaining. We have a problem; we are the solution.”

Hear the stories of these farmers and how their homegrown solutions that have emerged from their work have yielded more benefits than originally planned or imagined for their communities.



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