Still learning. Still donating.

Donations for May, partner for June, and reflecting on Black Wall Street.

Good morning bread friends!

I hope folks had a nice long weekend. This was the third weekend in a row where yard work and gardening were defining activities of the weekend for our family. You don’t know how unusual it is to hear me say this… but think I’m starting to get really excited for this year’s garden.

I first built raised bed gardens for our family 7 years ago. This spring I had to rebuild the 3 existing beds, and we took the opportunity to add an extra bed and increase the total square footage of garden bed space by about 30%. For all the years that we’ve had garden space in our back yard though, my contribution to the garden has been limited to having built the original beds. Ahead of the growing season this year Melissa asked me to get involved and invested in the garden’s success this year. As is often the case, I’m already thankful that I listened to her.

I’m quickly starting to appreciate the beauty that gardeners find in their toiling. Observing and anticipating the progress from week to week, and looking forward to the fresh fruits and vegetables is kind of exhilarating. I find myself daydreaming about the meals that I’ll eat with the tomatoes, or peppers, or corn, or leaks, or any of the various things that are all just seedlings today.

Thinking about how joyous of a learning experience gardening has been for me lately, has had me thinking about how much I want everyone to have access to this same sort of joy. While my kids eagerly look forward to eating fresh fruits and vegetables from our garden and from our CSA, I know that many kids in my own city don’t have the same access to eating fresh food, growing fresh food, or learning about where their food comes from. There are some really cool organizations in Madison that exist to combat food insecurity.

I’m excited to share that for the month of June, Bread & Justice is going to be supporting a local food justice nonprofit called Rooted.

Rooted exists to not only provide fresh food to families in need but to serve and teach youth to grow their own food while teaching about stewarding land through community gardening. I first became familiar with their work 10 years ago, but that’s a funny story that I’ll save for next week.

Donations for May

Last week I shared a bunch of background on what it means for Bread & Justice to be a philanthropic home-based bakery. 100% of the profits from the sale of bread are donated to organizations working towards a more just society. For the month of May, this community came together to support the Asian Americans Advancing Justice, by joining the #doughsomething fundraiser to increase awareness about anti-Asian hate, and encourage people to fight racism. After all of the bread that you purchased, and all of the generous donations that were made directly to Bread & Justice on our website, we are able to donate a total of $701 this month to Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

🎉🎉🎉

100 years after the Tulsa Race Massacre

I was an adult when I learned about the existence of something in America called “Black Wall Street”. Unfortunately, I simultaneously learned that this hub of black entrepreneurship no longer existed because in 1921 it was destroyed by a mob of white terrorists, empowered by local officials to burn the entire neighborhood down while killing hundreds and causes thousands to become homeless. Because of how this country has historically operated, atrocities like this are barely mentioned in the teaching of American history. If you never heard about any of this growing up, you’re hardly alone. The former Secretary of Education took to Twitter this time last year to ask people if they had learned about this in school and the replies were pretty consistent with what you may assume.

There are some insightful stories recently written recently about the Tulsa massacre (1, 2, 3), but I want to point you to the stories of the survivors today. Please spend 20 minutes reading the stories of these people, all of whom were kids at the time that their community was burned to the ground by racism. It is a lot to take in… but it is important to face the truth. I pray that we grow from learning about our past.

As always… thank you for caring about both Bread & Justice.
I love you all.

Mo Cheeks

P.S. 🥖Bread is available to pre-order for Thursday pick up. Click here to order now!