A big change in terms of community participation is occurring in Memphis. The initiative is being conducted by a group of young people who decided to assume responsibility for their own welfare. This new way of activism is a welcome change from a local tendency in the past to identify a problem and turn to city authorities for a solution.
The roots of this new attitude can be traced to 2001 when Memphis’s community garden movement was born. At the time, Alcine Arnett, a board member of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, started a community garden in her neighborhood. Her purpose was to promote community gardening as an effective community-building strategy that contributes to neighborhood renewal and preservation.
Community gardens have expanded, improving citizen quality of life. Also, these gardens have been created to share healthy food consumption and improve people health. Continuously, more land is been dedicated to grow food within the city of Memphis. This also helps people transition from small scale growing to for-profit food production with access to market space, taking many families away from poverty.