Celebrating Black History Month | Meet Diana Gregory | Desert Botanical Garden

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Celebrating Black History Month DBG

Meet Diana Gregory

Diana Gregory has enjoyed a successful 30-year, multifaceted corporate marketing and sales career with Anheuser-Busch until she retired. During those corporate years, Diana learned the immeasurable value of creating strategic alliances.

In 2009, she began her encore career in Phoenix, AZ by founding the Diana Gregory Outreach Services Foundation (DGOSF) and Gregory’s Fresh Market (GFM), a 501 (c)(3) division of the Foundation. She positioned her expertise alongside her vision to drive positive, long-lasting change in the community and raise social awareness. And she has done just that by bringing her farmer’s market along with healthy cooking, nutrition, and fitness education to senior and veteran’s facilities in Maricopa County. Diana Gregory has been making a difference—by being her authentic self and by making strategic alliances in the community to give back to the community.

Throughout her corporate career and in her many years as a Phoenix resident, she has served on several boards, including Desert Botanical Garden,  that advocate for minority opportunities and women; and her work on behalf of seniors has often been recognized. Every day she lives what her parents taught her: That it is not where you live, but what lives in you that determines where you will end up in life; and, second, to always live by an attitude of gratitude.

 

What does Black History Month Mean To You?

 Black History Month celebrates contributions African Americans have made to American culture and history as well as to offer time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice.

As the niece of the late Dick Gregory—comedian, social rights activist and icon—I learned through his work that you can be educated but not know much about your history. That is why Black History Month is needed—and why 365 days out of the year is Black History Month for me because our American history lessons skip over many African American achievers.

Much history is recorded at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Plan a trip to this extraordinary museum.

 

Tell us why you are passionate about horticulture, botany and working with the community?

I encountered a defining moment after helping my neighbor haul her bags of groceries up eight flights of stairs when no one else volunteered to help. I made a vow right then and there—at eight years old—to help seniors during my encore career. Everyone should be committed to a cause greater than themselves. 

I developed a passion for gardening through watching my father grow fruits and vegetables that he juiced daily. His juicing helped him overcome prostate and colon cancer.  

 

What are you most proud of, of the work you are doing at Spaces of Opportunity? 

I am most proud of the nutritious food Gregory’s Fresh Market grows at Spaces to feed hundreds of seniors and veterans. This food boosts their immune system and combats food insecurity. Our purpose for growing is to ensure no vulnerable senior or veteran goes to bed hungry.   

 

How does Spaces positively impact the Phoenix community?

Spaces has transformed an 18-acre vacant lot into a beautiful garden. This garden has prevented the illegal dumping of trash. It promotes sustainable agriculture, decreases the impact of food deserts in low-income communities, and provides cultural events and farmers’ markets for families. What a blessing! 

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