With whisks in hand, bakers across the world went into their kitchens this week with the same goal: to fight racism.
They were preparing for their virtual bake sales as part of the Bakers Against Racism movement that was founded by three Washington, D.C., chefs. What started with a goal of 80 participants now has thousands of professional and home bakers raising money for organizations that support Black lives.
Pastry chef Willa Pelini was inspired to create the event after she watched protests unfold in Minneapolis and across the country following the police killing of George Floyd. Pelini reached out to fellow pastry chef Paola Velez about hosting a pop-up bake sale to support the Minnesota Freedom Fund. Velez had just finished hosting a Latin-American donut pop-up, Doña Dona DC, and Pelini wanted to see if they could collaborate using that same model.
With Doña Dona DC, Velez says she raised around $1,100 for Ayuda, an organization that provides services to immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area. But she says "it wasn't enough." She wanted her next endeavor to be bigger, and the thought of only being able to double the money raised in another pop-up with Pelini almost broke her spirit.
Velez told Pelini she needed to think about it and got to work on a plan to connect a network of cooks to host micro bake sales across the country. She then reached out to chef Rob Rubba, who made graphics. Velez created a shareable folder of resources for people looking to participate and wondering how to get started.