ABOUT US

Mission: To establish, educate, and assist black people for sustainability and food sovereignty.

THE SITUATION

For the past 30 years, black Pittsburgh neighborhoods have lacked access to healthy food. We call this situation “food apartheid” because it fully captures the reality of racial discrepancies in food access. Grocery chains refuse to open locations in black city neighborhoods. Many black Pittsburghers lack the money and time to travel elsewhere for essential food items. We therefore rely on local corner stores that carry highly processed foods whose consumption contributes to diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ills. Lack of access to fresh groceries costs black communities our health, robbing us of our money and our precious time. 

OUR SOLUTIONS

CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE FOODS

We grow a variety of fresh vegetables on our farm, including African-American staples like collards, kale, and okra.

Education

We get children and their families involved on our farm, where they can learn about healthy food choices and about black culture.

Healing

We teach our youth how to start healing their mental and physical traumas through the use of herbs, plants, meditation, yoga, and reiki.

Policy

BUGs members are active in our local communities and regularly meet with Pittsburgh officials and leaders to acquire land, discuss projects, and participate in policies regarding urban agriculture.

OUR TEAM

RAQUEEB BEY - FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Raqueeb Bey is an urban agriculturalist, community activist, and mother. In addition to BUGs, she founded Mama Africa’s Green Scouts, a gardening and culture program for black youth and their families. Through her agricultural work she is a fierce advocate for the well-being underserved urban black communities.

DANA HARRIS-YATES - PROGRAM OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Dana Harris-Yates serves black elders and youth through cultural education. She uses organic food, spices, and herbs to promote healing in her community. She has been honored for her services by the African Diaspora Community of Pittsburgh and the State of Pennsylvania.

CELESTE TAYLOR - FARM MANAGER

Celeste Taylor is the farm director of the Homewood Historical Community Farm. She is a native of the Homewood neighborhood in Pittsburgh and has decades of experience advancing human and civil rights. She is a Master Gardener that has been repeatedly recognized for her service to the Pittsburgh community.

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