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Let’s Read, Let’s Move and then Let’s Grow: The South Memphis Farmers Market

Sonal Shah, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, discusses the power of a community to develop community solutions to address local issues, as demonstrated by the South Memphis Farmers Market.

Never underestimate the power of a community. Communities all across America are coming together to solve their own issues.  One community led by Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D., Pastor and CEO of St. Andrew AME Church Enterprise, roughly 22 South Memphis organizations, business and religious institutions worked together for 18 months to take action and create a revitalization plan composed of over 60 community projects.

In alignment with the First Lady’s Let’s Move Initiative, focusing on access to healthy and affordable food, and with United We Serve: Let’s Read, Let’s Move, the City of Memphis, Tennessee has demonstrated the power of a community solution. As our country recovers from economic crisis, the ability for a community to empower its neighbors and organizations is vital to their success. As President Obama has stated many times “government cannot do this alone” and “good ideas do not come from Washington.” The new Farmers Market in Memphis is our proof, along with many other successful community solutions across the nation.

The Farmers Market is a piece of a larger plan for the revitalization of South Memphis. More than 400 neighbors came together and decided what the future of South Memphis could be. For more information about the New Farmers Market or the community’s planning process. Please visit the Corporation for National and Community Service Blog or the South Memphis Revitalization Action Plan.

Sonal Shah, Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation