Kafi Dixon dreams of starting a land cooperative for women of color who have experienced trauma and disenfranchisement in the city of Boston. By day she drives a city bus; at night she studies the humanities in a tuition-free course. Her classmate Carl Chandler, a community elder, is the class’s intellectual leader. White suburban filmmaker James Rutenbeck documents the students’ engagement with the humanities. He looks for transformations but is awakened to the violence, racism and gentrification that threaten Kafi and Carl's very place in the city. Troubled by his failure to bring the film together, he enlists the pair as collaborators with a share in the film revenues. Five years on, despite many obstacles, Kafi and Carl arrive at surprising new places in their lives—and James does too.