We will become what we can see

Announcing our incredible nonprofit partner for Women's History Month

Good morning bread friends.

My mother-in-law sometimes calls me a “good forgetter”. She has a really endearing way of saying it, which assures me that she’s genuinely not judging me when I forget about something. She says it as if I have some alternative ability.

Even though I often wish I didn’t have this particular skill, I am a good forgetter. So when I tell myself, “Next week let’s try to start drafting this email over the weekend instead of on Tuesday morning while I’m baking” – well… here I am, writing to you while I’m baking. But that means I get to show you how the first loaves are coming out of the oven.

What will we see as possible?

By the time I was in middle school I knew I wanted to work in the tech sector someday. I had access to the internet at a young age, and I was so excited for what the "age of the internet” was going to bring to society. I knew I wanted to be a part of it. At night I’d stayed up way past my bedtime on the internet, and during the day I’d scour through these free computer part catalogs that my parents let me order to the house. CDW, PC Mall, Mac Mall, and others like that were how I’d keep up to date about the emerging tech in the industry. With the help of my neighbor Jarvis (essentially my big brother), I learned how to build computers and how to build websites. There was so much being written about Steve Jobs & Bill Gates during that time that I felt like I knew so much about their journey and their vision for the world. I was determined to someday work for one of these men. I wanted to help them bring about this “digital revolution”, and the promising future that could be found once we all had access to information at our fingertips.

During that time something that I didn’t see was women to look up to in this emerging tech industry. Surely they existed. I presume there were even articles about them in my beloved PC World magazines… but to my recollection, the spotlighting of any females in the tech industry was few and far between. To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to this glaring absence as a young man.

Today, I work for a tech company where our conference rooms are named after the likes of Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace, and other women that pioneered the foundation for modern computer science. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I became familiar with their herculean contributions to this field that women had made and were making.

It seems obvious to me that the lack of representation in STEM careers contributes to a lack of diversity amongst those pursuing STEM careers. This is a cycle that I want to be a part of ending.

In honor of Women’s History Month, this month Bread & Justice will be donating the profits from the sale of all of our sourdough bread to Maydm, an organization that is doing excellent work to close the gender gap in this field that I have loved since I was young. From their website:

Maydm provides girls and youth of color in grades 6-12 with skill-based training for the technology sector. Maydm’s holistic approach prepares students from traditionally underrepresented populations to engage in and revolutionize the tech industries. Your donation will enable the dreams of brilliant students, engage them with a creative culture of innovation and equip them with skills needed in STEM spaces, helping to close the equity gap.

Let’s donate even more profits for February!

As you know, Bread & Justice is a philanthropic enterprise. As such, all profits from the sale of bread are donated to organizations working towards a more just society. For the month of February, this community came together in recognition of Black History Month to support The Center for Black Excellence & Culture here in Madison, WI. 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 $770 this month to The Center.

I want to offer you a peak behind the curtain of my brain right now. After I first typed the paragraph above, I was going to just keep moving. When I was in my 20s, I had a boss that told me that celebrating success was a healthy practice that I should really cultivate. I think of Barbara’s advice anytime I am naturally inclined to move on to the next thing without pausing to appreciate an achievement. So this is my intentional pause… to ackwnoledge that in a single month, we increased the amount that we could donate by 65%. That is awesome. And I’m proud of myself, and I’m grateful for you all. And it doesn’t stop there, because I know that I’m going to get to update you all in a future email with an even greater number… because after reading about Andrew & Gracie Foxwell’s match last month, I’ve heard from some of you asking how you too can contribute to the total contribution. Anyway. This community is incredibly cool, and this is me resting in that fact. 😎

Two final asks for you:

1) I’d love to hear from you all who some of your female heroes (sheroes) were growing up.

2) I would love for those of you who are local to try some bread, or share it with a friend :) You can currently pre-order for Thursday pickup on the website.


Technologist & Baker ;)