In light of the recent global protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, the bake sale concept is getting an important upgrade. Bakers Against Racism is an on-going, nation-wide virtual bake sale with the ultimate goal of ending racism, fascism, and the unjust treatment of Black people in America.
The Bakers Against Racism campaign was started by — you guessed it — two bakers in Washington, D.C. According to Washingtonian, it all began when Willa Pelini, a pastry chef at Emilie's reached out to Paola Velez, a currently furloughed pastry chef at Kith/Kin and 2020 James Beard Award Rising Star Chef of the Year nominee. Pelini initially envisioned one D.C.-based bake sale that would support Black Lives Matter and other racial justice organizations, and Velez ran with the idea. Soon, they had put together a national event that pastry chefs and home bakers were participating in from their own communities across the country.
The official Bakers Against Racism Google Doc, which is automatically shared with anyone who signs up to participate in the virtual bake sale along with other resources, states that "everyone who wants to see radical change against systemic and structural racism," is welcome to join in selling their desserts and donating their proceeds to charities that support racial equality and combat racism nationally or in their local communities. Bakers Against Racism participants collectively launched their pre-sale links on Monday, June 15, with the pickup of bake sale items happening on Saturday, June 20.
Both professional and amateur bakers all over are now in the midst of taking and fulfilling orders, so there still isn't a total count on how much money has been raised and donated thanks to the Bakers Against Racism campaign. However, there have already been over 7,000 posts shared on Instagram that include the #BakersAgainstRacism hashtag, many of which advertise participating bake sales. The posts depict every kind of baked good imaginable from crusty loaves of sourdough bread to elaborately decorated cakes. There are even brownies with the Black power fist silhouetted in powdered sugar.
You can use social media to see if your favorite local bakeries are participating or sift through #BakersAgainstRacism to find a baker in your area. Then, in the coming days, keep an eye out to see how much money was donated through the initiative. Participants are being encouraged to post screenshots of their donations on social media and submit donation amounts and organizations to a Google Form set up by Bakers Against Racism.
Even if you don't get to participate in the Bakers Against Racism initiative, either by baking, selling, buying, or eating, the project is a great reminder of what all of us can do to stand up against racism. As Pelini, one of the campaign's founding bakers, told Washingtonian, "If you have a special skill or special talent, that can also be used as a force of change. Everybody has a role to play, and you can use what you're good at to push forward the cause."