Newsmakers: Sweet Potato Comfort Pies Rose McGee Talks About Pandemic, Tough Conversations
Sweet Potato Comfort Pies Founder Rose McGee says the pandemic has been tough on the effort to make and share sweet potato pies. The pies offer a sense of caring and concern and acts as a catalyst to bring people together for tough conversations.
“We try to offer information that is true and direct, and yet at the same time, people respond to that,” said McGee.”We call them a catalyst for caring and building community and we also say they are more than just a pretty pie because they are beautiful and delicious too. But the intent of the pie is to really offer that sense of caring and concern to individuals who receive the pie. But it also serves as a way of bringing people together and having tough conversations that is so critical.”
This weekend the Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Organization will host the Eighth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend of Service with a variety of events. A special program will be co-hosted for the second year by Breck School and will be held virtually on Sunday, January 16, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can learn more here.
Volunteers usually gather to make the pies, but that’s not possible because of COVID.
“We love to bring volunteers together in spaces where they can make the pies and there’s a whole another level of networking that happens with people in the kitchen when they are working together and packaging those pies together and carrying them out,” said McGee. “So what we have had to do is b e creative with using internet and doing it online. So now I can actually go online and walk through making the pies, that’s fun and focus on carrying those pies out in their own way.”
In the past eight years, the conversation around diversity and equity has changed.
“Some people are really starting to be more receptive to listening in communities, which is good,” said McGee. “I’ve seen people look forward to our annual dinner where we bring people together around conversations and being able to learn.”
McGee says they often give tools for facilitating conversation.
“It’s important for history, and all of this stuff that you go through. If it’s not interpreted properly, which is often the case, people misinterpret. Then things happen and continue to happen under false information so that’s what we try to do, offer information is true, direct and yet at the same time people can respond to that,” said McGee.