More than 2,400 bakers are picking up their whisks, and this machine fights fascists: Launching on Monday, June 15, Bakers Against Racism is a viral online bake sale that's uniting people around the world through cookies, cupcakes, sourdough loaves and pastries—with funds championing black equality and justice.
Home cooks and some of the world's best pastry chefs are joining the cause, posting menus to their Instagram feeds, including information on where to pick up goods and which fundraisers they're backing. As the thousands of bakers participating span 15 countries and more than 170 U.S. cities so far, items and instructions vary, but the message is the same: Use your talents to resist and challenge racism.
"Bakers Against Racism is a call to action: to fight and stand up against the unjust treatment of BLACK people in the United States," the organization states. "We are armed to fight racism with the tools we know how to utilize, our FOOD."
The initiative began in Washington, D.C., led by current James Beard Award finalist Paola Velez, the executive pastry chef of restaurant Kith/Kin; pastry chef Willa Lou Pelini of Emilie's; and Oyster Oyster and Scrappy's Bagel Bar chef Rob Rubba. Their call went out on Instagram June 4, with the hope to inspire a few bakers. Within five days, there were participants from four continents, 14 countries and 38 states.
The format is simple: On June 15, bakers will officially launch pre-sale across their platforms (though many are already taking orders). Each baker is encouraged to make at least 150 pieces of the treat of their choice, then donate the majority of the proceeds to any charity, movement or organization that promotes or protects black lives. Pickups take place on Saturday, June 20.
It's a community effort from self-taught chefs and seasoned professionals alike, and though there are thousands working individually from kitchens all over the world, Bakers for Racism's founding team is providing continued encouragement and support. Rubba offers graphics help and other design know-how, while Pelini assembled a Google folder full of anti-racism podcasts to listen to while baking—especially if they happen to be non-BIPOC. Recently the team also launched a merch line, with proceeds benefiting the NAACP and Critical Resistance.
The baked goods you'll be able to buy vary, with thousands of options including flaky croissants, honey berry crumble and artful confections. Los Angeles-based baker and YouTuber Baking with Chickens is whipping up lemon-crinkle and strawberry-and-almond cookies; the UK's Jeju's Bakehouse is contributing babka to the cause; in Long Island, Chelsea Kravitz—aka the Bakery Lady—adds cinnamon rolls to the lineup; Santa Clara food blogger Rupali Kashyap will contribute berry cupcakes; there will be chocolate chip cookies in Denver, Colorado, from Melissa Ostrow; and popular NYC food stylist and recipe developer Judy Kim hasn't yet divulged her treats, but they'll donate entirely to the Loveland Foundation. The best way to peruse and find participants near you? Browse the "#BakersAgainstRacism" hashtag on Instagram.
"Being a woman of color in a male-dominated world, I have faced racial discrimination, implicit bias, and micro-aggressions in every facet of my career," Diori Medina tells Time Out. The self-taught baker is participating in the bake sale, and is accepting orders for macarons through her home baking outfit, Diori Bakes DC.
"Systematic racial injustice has led to hundreds of lives being taken, needless suffering and grief for families who lost loved ones, kids learning to distrust the government and the gross misallocation of public funds to hurt, harm and harass the very people who fund these institutions; this is unjustifiable and can’t continue," Medina says. "I want to use my skills as best I can and spread the word. Food is universal, as justice should be. I started baking to see the joy and happiness it brings people...I hope my confections can provide a small modicum of happiness and comfort."
The sale has spread beyond baked goods, too: Baker Thida Bevington is hosting an online cake-decorating class on June 20 in support of the project, donating 100 percent of the proceeds—making it easy to taste or learn something sweet for the cause, no matter your location.
Most popular on Time Out
- Get paid $20,000 (plus free beer and gear) to hike the Appalachian Trail next year
- A new Harvard study advises couples to wear masks and avoid kissing while having sex
- How to donate to bail-out funds in 30 different U.S. cities
- Turks and Caicos will reopen for tourism on July 22
- The future of restaurant dining is reservation-only