Nishta Nandakumar and Emily Cao, juniors at Edgemont High School, founded Baking for Black Lives Matter in response to “the extent of police brutality and racism — especially against African Americans — that still runs deep in our country today. Horrified at the lack of governmental response to the Black Lives Matter movement,” they were inspired to raise money for the organizations that support it, and awareness for the cause.
They baked and packaged various baked goods, with half the proceeds going to the NAACP, the other half to the Black Lives Matter organization. To show their appreciation to front-line health care workers, they also had an option on the order form to donate a portion of each purchase of baked goods to local hospitals. They donated more than 800 baked goods to White Plains Hospital, and to King’s Harbor Nursing Home and Lincoln Hospital, both in the Bronx.
The students said they are “grateful we had the opportunity to show our gratitude, through this small gesture to those who have sacrificed to protect our community since March.”
In addition, with the help of a defense attorney from the community, they taught a young kid affected by the justice system virtually how to bake. His stepfather was wrongfully convicted of murder and was in jail for 27 years before being exonerated in 2019. He loved learning how to bake sugar cookies, and he told his mother that for every family gathering, he would help her make food from now on. The students said they “felt wonderful that they were able to help empower him and that he found a new skill to use in the future.”
They raised about $1,600 for the movement, and their parents’ companies plan to match the donation, resulting in a $3,200 donation to benefit the Black Lives Matter movement.