KENT, Wash. — Public health nurse Michaela Banks marched with Black Lives Matter in Seattle, but she wanted to do more to support communities of color.
"Toni Morrison has this great sentiment where she talks about during the Civil Rights movement. She said there are people on the streets in the trenches and that's so important, but I'm not there so where am I and what can I do there?"
So she turned her love of making cakes toward that cause, launching Sweet Sweet Justice on Instagram.
"It's a weekly cake auction for different racial justice organizations based on Instagram. Every week I announce a different organization, either locally or nationally. We learn about the need, and the work that's being done and then there's a 24 hour auction -- highest bidder wins the cake and all the proceeds go to that organization,” she explained.
A multi tiered salted caramel beauty raised $210 for the Black Mamas Matter Alliance. A Vietnamese iced coffee cake raised $165 for Creative Justice Northwest. And a Halloween themed cake with marshmallow spiderwebs was her most successful auction yet, raising $410 dollars for the NAACP.
It is sweet way to unwind from her job on the frontlines of the pandemic -- and promote racial justice at the same time. Also, Michaela is not a professional baker. But each cake does contain one essential ingredient:
“It is made with so much love and so little perfection it always tastes good and it sometimes looks good,” she said.
It's a small thing - this home baker using the tools she has on hand to support the work of racial equity. She feels it’s a way to support the organizations and leaders who are doing the real work. And she has advice to anyone who seeks to help:
“I think it starts with humility and listening. And asking yourself, well what privileges do I have? What power do I have? And how can I use that to uplift and empower and protect and honor?”
Sweet Sweet Justice has raised thousands of dollars since last August and this baker plans to keep using batter and buttercream to make the world better.
One cake at a time.
“That's the hope. Justice is sweet, and kindness is sweet and cake is sweet.”
Follow Sweet Sweet Justice on Instagram and stay tuned for cake auctions so you can contribute to the cause -- and maybe even eat some delicious cake!