It’s no secret that I’ve been out there helping out as much as I can. Mostly I’ve been cooking, because it’s the best way I know to spread the love.
There’s so many ways to spread the love, many of which require people with all sorts of talents.
I recently made some parfaits for another event with Black Chef Movement, a meditation for black lives. It was a beautiful event filled with beautiful people from all over the neighborhood. It was also my first time making granola, which was really fun, and really easy. I’ve included my recipe below, but first lets get down to the meat of the matter.
It has already been a long couple of months for protesters, but I honestly believe if we as a society want to force systemic change then this fight is just beginning. Just like any battle, we will need reinforcements, people coming in later on to relive those who have been on the front lines since May. There is no time too late to get involved and show support. The movement is not over.
One of the things I’ve been asked the most recently is how people can get involved in this movement. I was recently out to dinner with a friend, someone who cannot be out in protests but feels so much injustice that they are called to help. She just didn’t know where to begin.
I was rattling off so many different ways to get involved, no doubt my friend couldn’t keep it all straight. Not like I had provided her with a pen and paper. So here, on virtual pen and paper, is a short list of a few ways to help.
For many, this is the first call to action. The people are the ones calling for change, so the more bodies that show up to events, the better. It brings the spotlight onto a cause when there are people banding together. If you are loud, full of energy and stamina, and are unafraid of confrontations with the police, this is a good route. There are many outlets on social media to find protests all around NYC – for those from other areas, checking hashtags or political interest groups are great ways to get involved in your area. In my experience, protest organizers want as many people as possible, so its easy to find out about protests happening in cities around the country. Another great way is word of mouth from a trusted friend who is connected to the community.
Volunteer/Donate on site
If you want to get out there but don’t want to or cant protest, Drop off donations are also a thing. Homemade food is one of the most comforting things for a person to enjoy, and many volunteer groups have taken to giving away donated food to the homeless once the protests are finished and there is leftover food. In all honesty, it’s a win–win. The food will feed someone who needs it, and will appreciate it. What more could one want? I made some parfaits for Black Chef Movement last week, with homemade granola and berries. They were easy and fun and of course I’ve included the recipe below. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a professional chef to make something yummy from the heart and share it with the community.
Still not ready to share your cooking with the world? Donate your time. Plenty of protests, organizations and events need people to help handing out waters, food, or simply to show protesters where the food is. I’ve linked to a few that are close to my heart that I know could use some help, as they are trying to grow the movement. There is no task too small, and every hand is appreciated.
Actions are beautiful, but don’t feel like you have to be out there if it doesn’t call to you. Money talks, and organizations fighting for justice need it to continue the fight. From community organizations to national bail funds, here is a comprehensive list of organizations that could use your financial support. Want something more grassroots? Every organization I’ve linked to in previous paragraphs could also use some financial support. There is no shortage of where you can give and how you can open your wallet to support the community.
Call your local reps
This is a way to get some work done from home. This is a time to really search ourselves and be responsible for what we understand about the way our government operates. As a young woman, I spent my college years studying journalism, and if there is one thing I took away from my learning, it is that the responsibility of checking the government is something that falls upon the press and the people. We need to keep ourselves informed of what the government does, and not assume they have our best interests at heart.
One of the best ways is to contact your local rep. This form will help you find your rep, and searching them will help you figure out what kinds of bills they are signing. Here is a list of the bills currently in congress right now. Wondering where your rep is getting their money? Check this site out for full lists of campaign contributions and money funneling in the government. The power is in your hands. Contact your rep and tell them so! Don’t forget the government is full of elected positions, and we as the people should hold the power. We have the power to ask our government to serve us, and if we don’t like the job their doing, then the polls are open this November.
Support Black Businesses
For as long as most can remember, it has been exponentially more difficult to be a black business owner than a white one. That’s the thing about systemic racism– it gets down into your bones, into every crevice of society and is layed down like bricks; so ingrained in society we hardly realize its there. It is there. For every brick that goes unnoticed by a white person, it is being thrown and a person of color’s head.
Now is the time to support those who have been fighting an uphill battle for their livelihoods, by opening your wallet once again. This time, however, it isn’t to add donations, but simply to start using black–owned businesses more for everyday needs and items. Giving these businesses the chance to survive is the same thing we owe all businesses. Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, I’ve found a list for that as well.
Finally, this is one of the most important, if not the most important. All this fighting will mean nothing if we continue to let those in power walk all over us as a society. It is now your duty as citizen to figure out when your local election is happening, register, and vote. Find the candidates in your state or county, figure out what they stand for, and stand behind the candidate that supports your ideals the closest. Now is the time to use our power as a populace at the polls and vote those who have abused their power out of office.
So, with all that being said (and it was quite a lot to say), lets get to the food.
I was very excited about these parfaits, which I gave to protesters meditating in Brooklyn on Sundays. The granola is crunchy and earthy, and the berries are light and sweet; with the tart yogurt they were a hit! Packing plenty of energy and nutrients is also an important factor; nobody likes to meditate or protest when there is something weighing down your stomach. The granola can be made with anything you have in your cupboard, nuts, grains, etc. I highly recommend making these for your own donation, or even a large group of friends who really enjoy brunch items.
Makes About 40
For the Granola:
4 C Rolled oats
1/2 C Pepitas
3/4 C Chia Seeds
1C Walnuts, chopped
1/2 C brown sugar
Ground Cinnamon, ginger, and salt for seasoning.
3/4 C Honey, warmed with a little water
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix all ingredients except honey in a bowl and mix well. Add honey mix and make sure oat mix is well coated.
Place on a sheet tray in oven and bake for about 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so until golden brown. Be careful, as the honey will cook the oats quickly if you don’t stir them and the nuts will burn. Take the granola out when its a little under in color, as it will continue to cook for few minutes once out of the oven.
For the Berries:
2.5 lb mixed berries
1/2 C Brown sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 swing of Olive oil, a pinch of salt
Herbs, such as basil and mint, chopped fine or chiffonade
Mix together while the granola is cooking, and let macerate a bit.
Layer Granola and berries with some yogurt of your choosing (I prefer Greek); and serve!