The Kheprw Institute (KI) is a community organization that works to create a more just, equitable, human-centered world by nurturing youth and young adults to be leaders, critical thinkers and doers. We empower communities to develop the skills and mental fortitude to become self-sufficient and resilient. We work to empower the community through four tenets: Empowerment, Economy, Education and Environment.
We facilitate public forums on topics like gentrification and food access to bring a diverse community together to learn from one another and consider ideas to increase equity from within our neighborhoods and from other cities. We use the ideas and social networks created by these forums to support community to create social enterprises that reflect the culture of our community and focus on its needs.
The Kheprw Institute Equity Fellowship Program is a year-long hands-on development experience for community leaders who want to change the world. As a fellow you can choose an area of focus (Education, Environment, Empowerment and Economy). You will help investigate approaches to increasing equity for Indianapolis communities, learning from the best examples here and across the country/world. You will have the support of Kheprw Institute's staff and a program mentor. Together we will individually customize the structure and focus of your fellowship based on your talents, passion and needs of community. This will determine the skills you acquire which may include: facilitating community forums; research; grant writing; visionary community organizing; and social entrepreneurship.
Last year the only urban grocery store chain in Indy closed all of its four stores. In response we held a youth-led forum on food access. Inspired by the forums, a group of neighbors supported by our Fellow Mimi Zakem and staff continued to meet to share food and talk about what we could do. In June 2016 the Community Controlled Food Initiative launched as a food co-op where people pool their resources to buy wholesale from local farmers. This was created with zero capital and provides fresh produce to 42 families. Mimi is starting her second year as a fellow and will continue to support and scale the Community Controlled Food Initiative.