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Press Release – Eat Local, Kalamazoo to Screen “Urban Roots”

September 8, 2011

From a Fair Food Matters press release….

“Urban Roots” film explores Detroit’s urban ag scene

“Eat Local, Kalamazoo” will present a free screening of the new documentary film “Urban Roots” in honor of National Food Day. The screening, which is open to the public, will take place Sunday, October 23, from 2-4 p.m. at the Texas Township Campus of Kalamazoo Valley Community College (room 4240). Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

“Urban Roots” tells the story of the urban agriculture movement in Detroit. The film will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Mark MacInnis, the film’s director and a native of Detroit.

Through the mid-20th century, Detroit was one of this nation’s most populous and affluent cities. But since 1950, the city has lost nearly half its population and more than 15,000 businesses; some 70,000 vacant lots now cover a third of Detroit’s 139 square miles, and it is viewed by many as an icon of post-industrial America.

Enter urban agriculture. Today, seeds of change are taking root in the empty lots, in the old factory yards, and between the sagging blocks of company housing. A number of grassroots groups, allied with environmental and academic groups, has started an urban agriculture movement with the potential to transform not just a major American city after its economic collapse, but also a country after the end of its industrial age.

This free screening is presented by Fair Food Matters, the International Studies program of Kalamazoo Valley Community College, the Michigan Land Trustees and the Office of Sustainability at Western Michigan University.

More information about the film can be found at

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