Founder and Senior Project Director
Raqueeb Bey is an Urban Agriculturalist, Community Activist and Mother of six phenomenal children. She is the Founder and President of Mama Africa’s Green Scouts, a youth program that teaches community gardening, green sustainability, urban homesteading, culture and community leadership skills to youth and their families. She is also a board member for Landslide Community Farm. In addition, she is the Founder and Senior Project Director for The Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op. (BUG-FPC)
Raqueeb sits on the Real Estate Task Force Committee and the Eco-Innovation District Steering Committee for Uptown Partners as well. She is a supporter for the family supports centers of Allegheny County and advocates for fair, just, responsible and equitable redevelopment along with quality housing for the underserved, overlooked and urban black communities. Raqueeb is also the Garden Resource Coordinator for Grow Pittsburgh’s Tool Lending Library. Just recently, Ms. Bey was accepted into Former Vice President AL Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training; which is being held here in Pittsburgh October 2017. Raqueeb believes the foundation of life starts with rich soil that seeds can prosper and bloom into fruits that can generate a state of well-being through cultivation. She says “The soil does not only help us grow food, but it also is enriched with healing elements that grows our mind, body and soul.”
Dana Harris- Yates
BUG’s (FPC) management member Dana Harris-Yates is recognized and honored by the African Diaspora Community of Pittsburgh and the State of Pennsylvania for her many services to the communities elders and youth through the proper cultural based education using fresh organic food, spices, and herbs for healing the mind, body, soul and spirit. Offering Mindfulness, Body, Soul/Spirit Centered Therapeutic Counseling. She has provided various healing services to the community. She is the Heal Thyself Ambassador of Ethereal Energy Spiritual Wellness, Medicine Woman, Bush/Roots Doctor, High Empress, Indigenous Afrikan Holistic/Nutritional Health Consultant, Therapist, Educator, Lecturer, Motivational Speaker Numerologist, Cosmologist, Spiritual Warrior, Spiritual Reader, Spiritual Guide, Counselor, Motivational Speaker, and Community Activist, Mother, Nature protector Farmer, and Nature lover who has dedicated her life to promote health, wellness and natural living to our community.
Nickeia Mason is an educator by profession who has experience teaching at risk youth in Ohio and Pennsylvania. She is also a program manager at a non profit organization where she manages 9 staff members who works in 18 schools throughout Allegheny County. Her past experience with teaching in both Cincinnati Public and some Private Schools in Pittsburgh has given her a passion to work with youth. She is a member of BUG’s (FPC) management team and has been involved in urban gardening for several years. She has volunteered and been employed with several urban gardens/farms throughout Pittsburgh. She also enjoys creating natural body and hair care products and is the owner of Make You Fall In Love (MYFIL) hair and skin care products. She has several years of experience with creating and selling natural hair and body care products. She has thoroughly researched and gained an understanding about properties and specific types of essential and carrier oils and how they work best for her customers specific needs.
Celeste Taylor is a passionate management team member of BUG’s (FPC). She is a native of Pittsburgh, PA, a graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, CCAC-Community College of Allegheny County and of Westinghouse High School. She is the proud mother of four sons and two grandsons. Ms. Taylor has worked for more than 40 years to advance human and civil rights that has focused on Equity, Economics and the Environment. She purchased a house in Homewood four years ago that has been established as the Monticello Street Hospitality House with an emphasis on cooperative and sustainable living in addition to advocacy around land ownership, stopping violence and gardening. She is a Master Gardener that has been recognized for her service to the community by the Annual Spring Black History Event honoring Environmentalist, Three Rivers Community Foundation-Champion of Change Award, B-PEP, Black Political Empowerment Project-Community Service Award, Onyx Woman Magazine Amazing 10, Women Shaping the Law-Women and Girls Foundation of Southwestern PA-The Art of Justice-, Westinghouse High School Wall of Fame amongst many other honors. Her commitment to the community has helped inspired her to raise $500,000 for different causes over the past 15ys. She looks forward to continuing to being a good steward of resources to help make a dramatic impact to improve the lives of the people we are privileged to serve.
General Farm Worker
Jabari Mason is an entrepreneur, activist and an artist. As an artist, Jabari creates art by using various art media to create designs and prints that he duplicates and sells to his customers. He has been involved in community organizations and various projects since the early 2000’s. In 2009, Jabari founded a grassroots organization named Kuumba. Within Kuumba’s first year Jabari and it’s other members built their first urban garden in Wilkinsburg. That farm was named after the organization Kuumba. Jabari has been a volunteer at of Landslide Community Farm, Ujamaa’s Urban Farm, the Harry Orlando Memorial Community Garden and other smaller urban gardens throughout the city of Pittsburgh. He is also a Hip Hop artist who has recorded and written many rap songs. Lastly, Jabari published his first poetry book Onyx Warrior in 2007.
Rhonda J. Sears is a Homewood native who was a 2009 inductee of the Westinghouse High School Wall of Fame. She furthered her education by earning a Bachelor’s degree from Robert Morris University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently employed with Pittsburgh Public Schools in the Minority Women Business Department. She has been the owner of Sears Event Planning and Consulting for 10 years. She has a passion for advising youth interested in pursuing post-secondary education and teaching them the reward of receiving scholarships. She is an advocate for Homewood community pride and economic growth.