A Recipe for Change
“Sweet potato pie is the ‘sacred dessert’ of Black people, and it has power. Not only does it give us energy, this pie links us to history, it soothes our spirits and renews us for the much-needed work.”
~ Rose McGee
Sweet Potato Comfort Pie’s mission is to advance racial justice and equity, heal damage caused by race-based trauma and elevate marginalized voices and experiences. We achieve our mission in three ways: by using the powerful Black cultural food tradition of making and delivering sweet potato pies; by facilitating story-circle dialogues, speaker series, workshops with intentional listening and authentic sharing; and by building multicultural alliances/relationships and youth/elder mentorships that deepen commitment to racial justice work.
Ingredients of Sweet Potato Comfort Pie:
Community • Celebration • Conversation • Comfort • Connection
Sweet Potato Comfort Pie on PBS
Sweet Potato Comfort Pie was founded in 2014 by Rose McGee, in response to the events in Ferguson, MO. Through this journey Ms. McGee discovered that through the process of baking with others, delivering the pies, and gathering for reflection, the pies became far more than a vehicle of comfort food and culture – they were a catalyst for change. Ms. McGee has been forging her own brand of baking activism ever since, responding to the continued crises and racial justice struggles in the united states and beyond. The SPCP organization is dedicated to the work of gathering people for deepened conversation, workshops, youth mentorship, story circles, healing activities and community action. Sweet Potato Comfort Pie’s annual event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King gathers hundreds of people into community each year. See our events for more.
“One morning as I was getting ready for work, I was hit with the devastating news that I needed to submit $300 to my landlord that I didn’t have…[at a] Sweet Potato Comfort Pie planning session, we were asked to go around the circle to share our own story about what brought us there. I shared how I knew that I represented youth who are being racially profiled and being denied access to a host of opportunities. Overwhelmed, I burst into tears. The people in the room were amazingly open and kind. Everyone cried with me. They cared about me and my story. Then, Rose McGee came over with the sweet potato pie that she was planning to give to a dignitary in the room, saying, ‘I’ve decided that you’re the one who needs this pie.’ And I really did. For those who say sweet potato pie can’t change people’s lives, they need to hear my story.”
-Cleveland Darnell Miller, Pie from Rose McGee
“I saw something great when I first met Dr. Carlton Jenkins in his interview for Super-intendent of Robbinsdale Public Schools. Clearly, he was a person who would fight for equality throughout the programs in the District…When I gave him the pie, I could see he was moved, and then he shared his story with me. Our connection has grown since. As a Colombian- born, American-bred woman, I’m proud to call Dr. Jenkins a friend.
“The gift of a Sweet Potato Comfort Pie shaped my DNA,” said Dr. Jenkins. “It was about love and the potential of the community.”
(community activist and student advocate, Robbinsdale Public Schools),
Pie to Dr. Carlton Jenkins