Stories

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.

MN 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.

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Community stories

“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.”

-Andrea Bejarao-Robinson
(community activist and student advocate, Robbinsdale Public Schools),
Pie to Dr. Carlton Jenkins