Local bakers Kim Naseath and Dev Montanez, the duo behind Bloomington Bakers Against Racism, are organizing another anti-racist bake sale.
Pre-sales begin at 12 p.m. Nov. 1 on the Bloomington Bakers Against Racism website. There will be vegan, gluten-free and non-vegan options. Pick-up will be on Nov. 22 at Russian Recording, 1021 S. Walnut St.
Bakers Against Racism began as an event organized by a few Washington, D.C. bakers in response to the killing of George Floyd by police. It quickly turned into an international movement, with participants everywhere from Malaysia to Germany.
The Jun. 20 Bloomington bake sale received contributions from local professional and home bakers and raised $2,746 for Black Lives Matter Bloomington and the Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project.
Naseath, a housing case manager at IU Health, said that she and Montanez, who works in logistics for a New Jersey trucking company, decided to have the event in November because they anticipated increased demand for baked goods around the Thanksgiving holiday. They are raising funds to be split between two groups this time, BLM Bloomington and the Miami Nation of Indians of the State of Indiana.
They avoided branding the sale as a Thanksgiving event, though.
“It’s such a messed up holiday, so we decided to raise funds for an Indigenous group,” Naseath said. “Native people are so affected by coronavirus, and I want to help. I’m a white person, and I don’t want to speak too much about the plight of other people, it’s just — reparations are necessary.”
Montanez added that the Miami Nation of Indiana is not federally recognized, and therefore receives no federal funds, so they thought direct reparations would be helpful.
IU’s campus and Bloomington are built on land that once belonged to the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi and Shawnee people. Most of the Miami were forced out of the Midwest and into Kansas and then Oklahoma in the 1800s.
Regarding the choice to donate to BLM Bloomington again, Naseath said she thinks the organization is doing great work in the community.
Naseath said prior to June, she had gone to some BLM rallies, beginning with the protests that followed the killing of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. Still, she felt like she wasn’t doing enough to work toward racial justice.
“I think we all have more work to do, even if we think we’re antiracist,” she said.
Montanez said they enjoy working on the project because baking to raise money for these organizations makes them feel like they’re doing something impactful, not just creating a product for capitalism.
Both Montanez and Naseath have full-time non-baking jobs, though Montanez has previous professional baking experience.
Montanez is planning to make a few cakes, an apple sage pie and brownies, while Naseath is keeping it simple with 10 tofu-based vegan quiches. Montanez said the highlights from the June sale were pies and brown butter rice krispy treats. At least eight other bakers are already signed up to participate.
“One of the bakers is making a lemon cornmeal chess pie and I’m really tempted to get that,” they said.
If any local bakers are interested in participating, they are encouraged to reach out via the Bloomington Bakers Against Racism website by end of the day Friday. Montanez and Naseath said no baked good is too large or too small — you can make just one pie — but the bakers must be able to provide a list of allergens, package and drop off the item and have it be moderately presentable.
“We expect you to know what you’re doing, but you don’t have to be amazing,” said Montanez.
They highlighted how nice it has been to connect with bakers across Bloomington in a time when few people are making new connections due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t hang out with anyone except for my husband and my cats, so it feels nice to do something with my hands,” said Naseath. “The bake sale is really cool because it feels like a lot of friends doing things. It’s a lot of different people with different skills coming together to do things.”