Start with What You Have, Where You Are: The Kheprw Story

“Growing community is like growing food. It’s a lot of work. You gotta till the soil. You gotta plant the seeds. You gotta have the right weather conditions. Community is just like that. You start with what you have where you are.”  (Kheprw Institute co-Founder Imhotep Adisa)


Told through many voices and faces, “Kheprw Story” is a poetic visual narrative that showcases the heart of Kheprw, a person-centered, community-based organization based in Indianapolis, IN.

Step through visual metaphors, spoken word, and anecdotes from members of the Kheprw community to understand how we embody the mantra, community through self mastery.

Founded by a group of parents with the intention of providing a more robust, creative education for their parents than they expected their kids to receive in the school system, Kheprw’s work now spans a multitude of arenas of local life and possibilities including housing, food sovereignty, environmental justice, and economic empowerment. Their work is rooted in a focus on self-mastery and community wealth building at all turns.



Key Quotes:

“How will we be OK in the future? Is today putting us in a place that we will want to be tomorrow?” – Paulette Fair


“Community empowerment is agency and liberation. It is when community recognizes power that they already have. Oftentimes when empowerment is used in spaces and places, it is used as ‘giving power.’ But there is no giving power. We all have power.” – Aghilah Nadaraj


“Everything Kheprw does is grounded in the process over the product. The symbolism of the dung beetle is that you are in this evolutionary process that’s going to take you through a rough road. It is the human experience inevitably. Simliar to cells, similar to seed, there is a process to get you there.” – Khalil Mwaafrika


“A safe space space
for genuine life
to hugs like healing
in the easiest language
lacking nothing while lifting all things
into liberalizing intellect
our preferred mode of freedom.
Libraries dancing around in the spines of our elders,
tongues coded in valuables,
Actual gems reaping return on investment.
We be the sum of our ancestors’ wildest dreams”

– Mariah Ivey Diop


“I’m not asking anyone to give me justice. I’m trying to create a world where I can leverage justice on my own terms. Why ask?” – Diop Adisa


To learn more about Kheprw and its expansive blend of initiatives in Indianapolis and beyond, check out

This video was originally published on Kheprw’s Youtube Channel at

Going Further:



About the Lead Author

Kheprw Institute
Kheprw Institute
We work to achieve that change as an organization by focusing on four central tenets: "The Four E’s” Empowerment, Economy, Education, and Environment.

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