Those who knew her say it’s undeniable: Celeste Scott made Pittsburgh a better, kinder, more equitable place. The beloved organizer, mother, and leader died suddenly this fall at the age of 46, leaving a legacy of love, righteous struggle, and community care.
Living “Fat, Femme, and Fly,” Scott unapologetically spoke truth to power, sharing her sweeping vision for a Pittsburgh where Black communities can thrive, and working tirelessly to make it happen.
“It’s time for a total reimagining of public safety, restorative justice, and accompanying reallocation of funds to community investment,” Scott said at a 2020 hearing on police reform and public safety. “We know a better future is possible. We can make Pittsburgh a city where all of us have our humanity respected.”
Scott was instrumental in the creation of Pittsburgh’s Housing Opportunity Fund, which invests millions each year in affordable housing, and SisTers PGH’s transitional housing program for unhoused trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming Pittsburghers.
“She had a voracious desire for knowledge, justice for the vulnerable and music,” reads her obituary. “She mastered the art of loving people enough to tell them the truth that would set them free and elevate them even if they were aggressively determined to remain bound.”
In Scott's honor, the Opportunity Fund has launched a new initiative called Respite for Black Women that will provide funding to support Black women’s “right to rest” in Pittsburgh.