A Healthy Natural and Human Environment

One of Kheprw Institute’s main objectives is to align our behaviors and beliefs to promote a healthy, sustainable environment for all forms of life on the planet. We strive to increase our own knowledge and skills in sustainable practices and to share them with our community.

Our understanding of the environment is broad and includes both a healthy natural and human environment. The natural environment includes the reduction of pollution, addressing global climate change, and healthy ecosystems. A healthy human environment includes issues like healthy foods, education that promotes critical thinking, gentrification, and the mass-incarceration of African American men.

Why so broad a definition? As an organization that comes out of an African American historical lens, it is clear that a toxic culture can be just as detrimental as toxic air, water or land. We believe that the environmental crisis we face a moral crisis rather than a physical one. The root is a consumer culture that values property over people and short-term gain over long term sustainability. At KI through our work with youth, green projects, and community forums we work to create a paradigm shift that will lead to more sustainable thinking and ways of life.

A Healthy Natural and Human Environment

One of Kheprw Institute’s main objectives is to align our behaviors and beliefs to promote a healthy, sustainable environment for all forms of life on the planet. We strive to increase our own knowledge and skills in sustainable practices and to share them with our community.

Environmental Initiatives

Since its inception, KI has valued the reuse and recycling of resources. For a number of years KI youth and seniors ran the Good Stuff Thrift Store, KI Paint, and the KI Re-Store, which were initiatives focused on building entrepreneurial skills, reducing waste, and making affordable resources available to our community.
  • 2005An Inconvenient Truth
    In 2005, KI youth led a forum on Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”. This forum created an intellectual shift in our organization. KI advocates strongly for many issues of social justice, but if global climate change is not addressed then it will lead to catastrophe for everyone.
  • 2009KI EcoCamp
    Since 2009, KI has run a summer EcoCamp with our youth. Each year the camp focuses on different environmental topics including clean water, climate change, urban agriculture, aquaponics, and composting.
  • 2010KI Aquaponics
    KI Aquaponics began as a research project of one of our summer interns Chinyelu Mwaafrika (10 years old at the time). He became an expert on aquaponics and we took several trips up to The Plant in Chicago to learn from other aquaponics farmers. Through a great deal of trial, error and a lot of learning we were able to launch our aquaponics system in June 2013. At that time it was the largest aquaponics operation in Indianapolis.
  • 2011Green For All
    In 2011-2012, Imhotep Adisa, KI’s executive director, served as a fellow for Green For All. Green for All is a national organization focused on the inclusion of communities of color in the green jobs movement. With a micro-grant from Green For All, KI launched a new social enterprise, Express Yourself Rain Barrels. Express Yourself Rain Barrels manufactures and sells rain barrels to teach entrepreneurship to youth, create economic opportunity in our community, and conserve water.
  • 2012Partnership With Duos
    In 2012, KI began partnering with Duos Indy, a local restaurant focused on healthy, sustainable food. Every week KI youth pick-up vegetable waste from Duos which they compost to use in our urban agriculture gardening projects.
  • 2014Urban Ag
    In 2014, KI launched the Urban Agriculture Science Lab. The lab started as an empty lot which Mt. Zion Baptist Church allowed us to use. We built raised beds on the lot, set up compost piles and with the help of a troop of Eagle Scout built a greenhouse on the lot. The lab is used as a learning space for our youth and seniors.