Playground was founded in 2016 as a coffee shop and community space in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

The locale on Bedford Avenue and Quincy Street has been in the Begum family for over 20 years, previously operating as her father’s hardware store. As the family business began to struggle to survive in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, Zenat’s yearning of a more equitable space for women and minority-owned businesses as a first-generation Bangladeshi-American sparked a new vision.

The space reopened as Playground and created a pipeline of employment opportunities for herself and like-minded young, BIPOC New Yorkers. Beyond just a coffee shop, it houses a bookstore named Playground Annex founded in 2018 as a marketplace of DIY, radical alternative literature and art. 

In the same year, Playground Youth was incorporated as a 501(C)3 non-profit to solidify and expand programming to operate as a resource for the neighborhood. The founding pillars of our organization are rooted in providing our neighborhood with a safe space to exchange art, cultural knowledge and strategies to build positive lasting social change. We tackle community needs including literacy, food equity, arts and culture through a range of 
open-access programs and events for all.



Pioneer Works

The Cut



The New School