Who We Are

The Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference is presented by Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings.  Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, we nurture collective black leadership to ensure we have a seat at the table.

In November of 2009, this alliance began organizing and hosting a series of community events with the purpose of starting a conversation around food:  Where does it come from?  Who is providing it?  Why don’t we see more black farmers at the farmers markets?  What is the relationship between our individual health and the health of our communities, and why does it matter?

Beginning with a fundraiser event in February of 2010, followed by a Community Forum that April, we’ve been inviting more and more people from our communities to engage in the conversation and together connect the dots between the health of our farmers and our collective health as a community.

At the first annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference in November 2010, more than 500 attendees began building a national network that includes producers, consumers, and everyone in between in creating sustainable solutions.  This vital project  continued at the second annual conference in October 2011.

Based in the New York City Metropolitan area, Black Urban Growers' founding members include representatives from the following grassroots groups, non-profit organizations as well as individuals from our communities:

Grassroots Groups
  • Brooklyn Rescue Mission – Brooklyn, NY
  • Community Vision Council – Brooklyn, NY
  • Garden of Happiness – Bronx, NY
  • La Familia Verde – Bronx, NY
  • La Finca Del Sur – Bronx, NY
  • Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, New York Chapter
  • Taqwa Community Farm – Bronx, NY 

Non-Profits Organizations
  • Citizens Committee for New York City – Manhattan, NY
  • Green City Force – Brooklyn, NY
  • GreenThumb – Manhattan, NY
  • Heritage Radio – Online Radio Network
  • Isles, Inc. – Trenton, NJ
  • Just Food – Manhattan, NY
  • NYFood Museum – Manhattan, NY
  • Weeksville Heritage Center – Brooklyn, NY
  • West Harlem Initiative Neighborhood Garden Sustainability (WHINGS) - Manhattan, NY
  • WhyHunger – Manhattan, NY 

  • Onika Abraham
  • Makale Faber Cullen
  • Michael Easterling
  • Linda Fletcher
  • Ceci Charles King
  • Erica Lonesome
  • Gary Small
  • T. I. Williams, Livesip

Volunteer Planning Committee
  • Simone Herbin
  • Heather Ramirez