Reflections -

the power of pie giving, receiving, creating

 

Andrea Bejarao-Robinson

(Pie to Dr. Carlton Jenkins)

“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.

Teaching both special education students and gifted and talented students, I wanted to be assured that everyone would be well-served. I was, and remain, very impressed with him. 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 Andrea Bejarao-Robinson is a community activist and student advocate in the Robbinsdale Public Schools.

 
 

Linda Lucero

(Pie from Freesia Towle)

“We live in a world that has universal adversity. The Creator has many gifts to send through other people. The Creator sends angels out with gifts. This is how I received my gift one day. My angel came to me delivering a pie. It wasn't just any pie! Oh, no! It was a special Rose McGee Comfort Pie. My angel's name is Freesia Towle. Her Native-given name is White Owl Woman.

Adversity is one of the tools Creator uses to strengthen us. Rose McGee's Sweet Potato Comfort Pies come to us sent by angels so we are never alone in our adversity. Sometimes the Spirit sends us the gift of a Sweet Potato Comfort Pie.”

Linda Lucero is a Traditional Healer and 7th- Generation Circle Keeper born and raised in White Earth Nation.

 

Cleveland Darnell Miller

(Pie from Rose McGee)

“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. Meanwhile, my friend Kate invited me to 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 contributed to the curriculum samples in this Guide.

 

More Pie Recipients

  • Hector Mastascastillo, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, was deployed 13 times in an 18-year military career that took him to almost 60 countries. Hector was recipient of the very first Sweet Potato Comfort Pie in August 2014. He and his wife Trista (and sons) reside in Lakeville, Minnesota.

  • Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison speaking at the 2016 Sweet Potato Comfort Pie MLK Day of Service in Golden Valley, MN. Representative Ellison was the first African American elected from Minnesota to the U.S. House and the first Muslim elected to Federal office.

  • WE WIN Institute is a community-based organization dedicated to the academic and social success of all children - fostering a "can do" attitude and a positive belief in themselves, their communities, and their world. Jameica Norman, Reba Kissell, Rakia Norman, Selena Lerma, Titi Bediako and Tyona Spencer helped in every aspect of pie baking.   

    Voices for Racial Justice works with communities to build racial equity into conversations about education, economic opportunity, health, safe neighborhoods, affordable housing, public transportation, criminal justice, and more...to lead the way toward more inclusive and equitable Minnesota.