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Black Hands Universal began a health conscious movement in the summer of 2020 in response to the Covid pandemic. We along with the community donations from farmers to the general public were able to put together a valiant effort to thwart the pandemic in our local community. Monday through Saturday we made sure that the poor and addicted were sleeping on porches and in shelters and even in the woods most commonly known as “ The Jungle”. We made what we call power smoothies.

 These “Power Smoothies” were a blend of fruits, juices, non dairy milks, and supplements. This way we were able to get the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that were of necessity for anyone's health. Especially in a pandemic. We were able to load people with things like fresh farmed spinach and Kale as well as things like sea moss. We also handed out masks and hand sanitizers.

We have now grown and have been able to hold stations in three prime low income trafficked areas. We were able to hire more teens and people to work and man the stations. A very large number of our smoothies went to the community's children as we held stations in Southside Community Center every morning as one of our prime locations for the summer.

Black Hands Universal’s Healthy Smoothies Program has allowed us to find summer employment for our community's teens from our low income demographic. Our Program is framed to create opportunities for both adults and youth. Having three stations we were able to hire three adults to supervise two six young people this summer. We hope to expand and to offer the opportunity of summer employment to others in the near future.    

This job was a great chance for our youth to learn punctuality, responsibility, entrepreneurship, as well as how to keep inventory and teamwork. Our teens work together as a unit to serve our community with healthy smoothies. For some this has become a summer building block and the fuel for so many children in our community.

This job teaches all our staff the importance of community healing and help. They get a first hand experience into the lives of so many different kinds of people and children in all walks of life. This program is more than just an economic boost to all that participate but also a character interest as well.




Black Hands Universal in collaboration with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance are providing black, latin, and indigenous people with the opportunity to create businesses in vending and sales.  The program offers free space and all that is necessary to have a productive booth. All legal permits and licenses will be established. This will also allow participants an opportunity to grow into downtown storefronts. New to vending and starting from scratch or if you already have experience join!

Also available is the opportunity to learn hands-on how to create, run, and facilitate a marketplace. Also the ability to learn how to set up for live performances. Everything from stage set up to lighting and sound. Those participants will shadow a professional and learn the ins and outs. All Ithaca's festivals and events are available to participants.




In collaboration with AFCU, Black Hands Universal and Business Leaders of Colors hold classes for Black, Brown,Indigenous, and minority people who are interested in a program that will allow them access to matched savings funding to start their own business or obtain their own non profits.

BHU will be offering classes to help disenfranchised communities in their upward mobility in creating businesses and non profit organizations to further the quality of their lives, their families, and their community.

We had a very successful class and it was informative and exciting to learn the different facets of imagining, creating, running, and maintaining, a quote unquote, successful business. Gladys Brangman was such an instrumental tool in the awakening and the educating of our participants as well as Jerome from AFCU who put together a powerful presentation.



Our Mission is to create upward mobility to the disenfranchised, the


unrepresented, and the marginalized. By helping create privilege and


opportunity most needed.


Black Hands Universals Work Services Program is a platform for minorities within the city of Ithaca and surrounding areas to launch into the trades and skilled labor department. In facilitating a nonprofit construction management and labor skills organization. Because we are a nonprofit, we care about the lasting impact on our communities. We will value sourcing materials locally, employing the community, and stimulating the local economy, providing critical services in low resource settings. BHUs Work Services will come alongside our partners to build new facilities in the health, education, green energy, residential, commercial, and economic construction and infrastructure sectors. From design to project close out, we want to serve as the minority representative at every step and hope to train in each aspect under those we work alongside. Every person – regardless of where they live, where they are from, what their ethnicity – should have access to upward mobility, opportunity, and a real chance, in spaces where they can thrive.

Our objective is to bring forth paid training in the field. We will be working with local businesses to contract with us to construct new facilities and renovations in the city and surrounding areas. This will allow our participants to receive hands-on training in the different fields of the trades and skilled labor. Giving them the basic skills necessary to feed into Ithaca City jobs, local trades and unions, Tompkins County jobs, and other private sectors of skilled trades and laboring. 

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