Hi everybody!

Apologies in advance for a long email, but I hope it is worth the read.

Here is a long-overdue update on where we donated the funds raised from the last three bake sales! This includes the bake sale from December 20th, December 23rd, and December 30th. I waited to tally up the funds from these partly because we were pretty dang busy baking with not much time to tie up loose ends and send donation updates during the holidays, but mostly so that we could do a really big, very exciting round of donations to close out 2020 and start off 2021. 

The December 20th bake sale raised $1,258 ( a record-breaking week), then the December 23rd sale immediately broke that record and raised a whopping $1,768 which absolutely blew our minds. Then, our New Year’s sweets sale raised an additional $560! 

Thank you ALL, for your generous orders, kind words of support, and additional donations. We really can’t say it enough. You all are lovely, and we are honored and grateful to have your support for the racial justice bake sale! 

We were pretty shocked by how much our community raised in just over a week, and realized that the total was about $3,600 and that we had donated to about 36 organizations and activists since this project began. So, to revisit and support each of these wonderful orgs, we decided it would be fitting to donate $100 to each of them. You might notice that we have actually donated to 38 organizations in total, but two of them are no longer accepting donations. 

We donated $100 to each of the following organizations! If you’re ever looking to support social and racial justice work that’s moving the ball forward, I hope this list is helpful to you. Most of them are based in Southern California. Part of our goal has always been to raise awareness of how a variety of issues are deeply tied to racism and racial justice, in addition to raising funds. This list represents a wide array of organizing and advocacy projects which each impact racial justice (and all justice) in uniquely important ways. There is no one way to support racial and social justice, so we try to spread the love.

  1. Movement for Black Lives
  2. Justice LA
  3. The Okra Project
  4. Black Trans Travel Fund
  5. Marsha P. Johnson Institute
  6. Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative
  7. Inner City Law Center
  8. Gender Justice LA
  9. Equal Justice Initiative
  10. Critical Resistance LA
  11. People’s City Council LA
  12. Reform L.A. Jails
  13. We Still Gotta Eat
  14. The Sentencing Project
  15. Dignity and Power Now
  16. Waterdrop L.A.
  17. The Freedom Child Foundation
  18. StreetWatch L.A.
  19. COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network L.A.
  20. Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s fund to pay fines and fees for formerly incarcerated folks
  21. Legal Aid Society fund to pay asylum and other application fees for immigrants
  22. Social Justice Learning Institute
  23. SEE-LA
  24. Students Deserve LA 
  25. Our Powerful People
  26. Black Voters Matter
  27. Food Forward
  28. The Loveland Foundation
  29. Freedom For Immigrants
  30. National Immigrant Justice Center
  31. Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance
  32. Cultural Survival
  33. The Cultural Conservancy
  34. National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
  35. South L.A. Cafe
  36. Brown Bag Lady 

I would be remiss to send an email about racial justice without mentioning what transpired in our country this week. Along with racial justice work, racial violence and injustice take many horrific forms. What happened at the Capitol seems to me like a particularly desperate and chaotic attempt to create fear and exercise power abusively. 

This is a time for all of us to be asking ourselves and our people serious questions about race. The one that comes to my mind the most is, how is this very visual display of racism a reflection of other forms of less visible but equally poisonous racism? And what is the relationship between the very visual instances of racial violence and oppression, and those ones we’re trained to turn a blind eye to? 

Pondering this relationship is important because it’s easy to condemn a bunch of neo-nazis trashing and destroying our nation’s Capitol one random Wednesday, but it’s much harder to condemn our oldest institutions, like the police, which made this terrorism possible. I am not on a pedestal, here. These are questions I try to ask myself every day, because I am in a position in our society where it would be far too easy not to.

Forgive my rhetoric student brain but I have one more thought about what happened on Wednesday. The assault on the Capitol brought to mind many ideas around consent and power dynamics for me. To put it bluntly, watching white supremacists dress up as confederate soldiers and break into the central nervous system of our democratic proceedings, bragging about an invasive, nonconsensual “conquest” felt like watching someone’s body be violated by a drunk, entitled, abusive frat boy. It was sickening. 

This type of invasion is traumatic when it happens to a single person’s body, and when it happens to a nation. This violence happens to Black and brown people, to women, to queer people, to unhoused people, disabled people, to immigrants, to many marginalized people every day, not in exceptional cases, but because our institutions are designed to control certain people in violating, humiliating, traumatic ways. 

Foucault wrote about this first in the literal context of prison and surveillance power dynamics, and then broadened it to the very power dynamics and abuses that constitute our society. It’s not a coincidence that neither individual white male rapists, nor large groups of white male nazis, face consequences for their actions. They experience the same privilege; they exercise the same power each time they violate us, knowing the whole time that they will not be held accountable.

It takes all of us to change this bleak reality, and our family hopes to continue supporting organizations like the ones listed above which are graciously shaping a brighter future in thoughtful, creative, powerful, and loving ways. I (Ari) am always here if you want to talk to someone about finding your own way to support racial and social justice! 

We weren’t planning to do a bake sale this weekend, but we’re feeling pretty motivated to do one right about now. I’ll be sending out an order form shortly, and a (MUCH shorter) email with the menu and a link to order! We’re thinking of doing hummus, chewy chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and biscuits. Keep your eyes peeled for that order form!

Learn more about Louies Bake for Justice or share us here.

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With love and solidarity,

The Louies

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