Two DC-based pastry chefs, Paola Velez and Willa Pelini, are mobilizing professional and home bakers to support causes connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. The pair are behind Bakers Against Racism, a virtual bake sale taking place from June 15 to June 20.
At first, Velez and Pellini predicted that only a handful of professional bakers would be interested in joining their efforts, but the bake sale has since evolved into a global effort. So far, 2,400 bakers have pledged to join Bakers Against Racism. According to a post on its Instagram page, participants are from “42 states, over 170 US cities & 15 countries.”
Documents distributed to participants provide instructions on how to operate a virtual bake sale and manage orders. They also state that the goals of Bakers Against Racism is “an end to racism, fascism, and the unjust treatment of BLACK people in America,” and that “everyone who wants to see radical change against systemic and structural racism” can participate.
Participants are asked to commit to baking at least 150 pieces of the baked good of their choice, proceeds from which will go to the anit-racist or social justice adjacent cause. Their suggestions include the Brooklyn Bail Fund, National Bail Out Fund, Communities United Against Police Brutality, or a local chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Bakers began taking orders on June 15, and are encouraged to plan their own safe and socially distant pickups or deliveries. The hashtag #bakersagainstracism groups all the participating bakers together, making it easier to search for a baker in your neighborhood. On June 21, bakers are encouraged to post receipts indicating their donation under the same hashtag.
“As part of a multicultural industry that is oftentimes underrepresented with diversity, it was important for us to participate in this movement to show our support and unity for Black and Brown [people],” Chris Tucker, owner of Betta with Butta, and one of the participating bakers, wrote to me in an email. “We will always show favor to charitable causes that allow delicious food to bring people together for much needed conversation.”
Velez told Eater that she hopes Bakers Against Racism becomes an annual event. For now, we can only hope that lots of people will be motivated to buy homemade baked goods at top dollar if it means supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
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