By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A local organization is serving awareness about racial and social injustices — through something sweet.

In 2014, Rose McGee was coping with grief and anger over the death of Michael Brown. She turned to what she knew: baking.

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“She brought the pies down to share with people that were suffering in Ferguson, and she was surprised by the reverence they had for the pie,” said Kate Towle, outreach coordinator for Sweet Potato Comfort Pie.

Rose gifted 30 pies. Over seven years later, Rose and Sweet Potato Comfort Pie have made over 3,000 pies made for comfort, starting conversations and building community. The organization was a collaboration with her friends, like Towle.

“The beauty of the sweet potato pie is that it’s a revered dessert of Black people,” Towle said.

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Rose McGee (credit: Sweet Potato Comfort Pie)

Sweet Potato Comfort Pie offered up pies to demonstrators and officers at the Minneapolis 4th Police precinct encampment in 2015, and at George Floyd’s memorial last summer. For Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, a small team baked 92 pies in honor of what would be the activist’s 92nd birthday. Due to the pandemic, a panel hosted a virtual discussion on Sunday about racial justice, including community and state leaders, as well as students.

“We really do want to amplify discussions about race and how we can bring people together across the racial divide,” Towle said.

The pies will be distributed throughout the community, with recipients chosen through Sunday’s discussions. The goal is to continue the conversation long after the last slice.

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“We are here for them, and we want them to join our movement,” Towle said. “We want them to be part of something greater.”

Kate Raddatz