What do Fountain Square, Downtown, Mapleton Fall Creek and Fall Creek Place have in common? Change: new trails, freshly paved roads, newly renovated homes, and new breweries and restaurants have recently popped up in these corners of the city. Neighborhoods may be wondering: How has this happened and who will reap the benefits of these amenities? Are our communities being gentrified block by block?
Gentrification is a real economic and cultural force acting on Indianapolis’ urban neighborhoods, which are predominantly low-income and many predominantly African- American. According to Indianapolis census data compiled by governing.com, the number of census tracts gentrifying quadrupled from 1990-2000 to 2000-2010 (defined by percentage increases in home value, education attainment and median income).
It can be difficult to have honest conversations about the “G word” because of how mired it is with issues of class, politics, race, and human impact. With this in mind, Spirit & Place and the Kheprw Institute partnered to launch Gentrify: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, a series of community discussions that explored the impact and ramifications of gentrification above and beyond displacement.
Further supporting Spirit & Place’s 2016 exploration of the word HOME, this 8-part series kicked off Sunday, February 28th at Kheprw Institute with the first discussion: “Can it Happen Here? The Flint, Michigan Water Crisis.” Attendees explored gentrification through health and environmental issues in the community.
Each event in the series encouraged discussions of engaging topics from various angles, including but not limited to: education, culture, race, class and power, food, and global perspectives.
About KHEPRW INSTITUTE
Kheprw Institute is a community organization that empowers youth through mentorship, leadership and critical thinking through after-school programming, internship and community forums. Learn more: kheprw.org