Bake Action Against Gun Violence

A Peacemaking Project by Gabby D.

What is the injustice we are solving?

This project was formed in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, which happened 15 minutes from my home. We are organizing Jews across the country to bake hamantaschen--the traditional Jewish cookie eaten on the holiday Purim, which is next week--and sell them, and donate the proceeds to groups working to stop gun violence (Everytown, in particular). We are raising awareness of the issue in Jewish communities and stating unequivocally: Jews won't stand for this violence.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of gun violence
we will address apathy toward American gun laws
by spreading awareness in the American Jewish community in conjunction with Purim, a holiday that highlights courage in the face of evil.

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • bring the Jewish community together to celebrate Purim by standing together against gun violence

We will increase my / our compassion by...

bringing people together to celebrate this Jewish holiday and talk about how to make change. They will get to know people in their own community better and think of people in other communities who have suffered from gun violence.

How will you show courage?

I will stand up for an issue I care about and work to make change.

How will you collaborate with others?

I am collaborating with my siblings to create the idea, and we are collaborating with almost 50 groups across the country who will be participating in this project.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

We have received feedback from people we know well and people we have never met. All of them are excited.

Key Steps

  • create national Facebook event
  • create website
  • talk to the media

Reflection:

How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?

We were able to see how many people, from all backgrounds, were affected by and lived in fear of gun violence. Our project was completed by Jewish organizations, and the support was widespread, across the political spectrum and across different generations. Some people shared with us their experiences with gun violence or why they cared to fight against it. By organizing the community, we learned about the deep roots of the problem that we yearn to fight.

How did your community change as a result of your project?

We brought awareness of this issue (gun violence) to the Jewish community, which is not always politically active. But we did it in a community-building way, so that it was not about politics but rather the universal value of keeping people safe. I learned that people want to take action but often don't know how.

How many people were impacted by your project?

1600

Explain how you came up with the number of people impacted by the project?

We had around 80 groups participate in the baking part of the project. Some groups were large (at my school, Yale, 20+ people participated), and others were smaller. I assumed 10 was a reasonable average amount of participants. 10x80 = 800. Then, I also factored in people who bought the hamantaschen. Again, some groups had more than others--at Yale, where we raised almost $600, over 50 different people bought hamantaschen. If we assume here, too, that the average is 10, that is another 800 people. 1600 is a rather conservative estimate, but I think it makes sense.

How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?

We gave each group resources from advocacy organizations like Everytown and the Brady Campaign, which often focus on individual stories.

What did your team learn?

We learned that gun violence affects everyone in this country--rich, poor, young, old. We learned that some groups are more vulnerable than others (notably, women and people of color). We also learned how widespread it is, and we learned why it is an issue that matters regardless of political affiliation.

What challenges did your team overcome?

We wanted this to be a national project, so we had to spread awareness. We did that first in our networks of friends, but we also sent a press release to several Jewish publications. Most did not respond, which was challenging, but we did hear from a couple. We also had to educate people about both gun violence and Purim (the Jewish holiday for which we were baking), and we had to deal with people who had different levels of education for both.

How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?

The main work, of creating a website and spreading the word, was done by my sister and me. But we reached out to friends, family members, synagogues, and other Jewish groups nationwide--often by cold-calling--to get them involved. Each individual project was completed on its own, so we really had 80+ leaders for this project, not just my sister and me.

What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?

Doing any kind of project will take a lot of time, but if you believe in the mission, it's worthwhile.

Our Updates:

Bake Action Against Gun Violence - Update

Gabby D. 18 May 2018 13:13 We successfully completed this project in early March. Over 80 groups nationwide participated and baked hamantaschen, and donated the proceeds to groups fighting gun violence. We added the grant money from Peace First to other donations we received for the project, which were either included with our final donation to gun violence prevention organizations or were used to help different groups purchase ingredients. 

Comments:

Siaka S.
13 March 2018 13:14

Very exciting project ,I am very interested to see the success of the project in near future God bless .  

Kelly B.
4 March 2018 11:57

This is fantastic! Good luck with your wonderful work!  

Kelsey T.
2 March 2018 10:30

Hi Gabby! Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below.

Strengths:
This is an AMAZING and creative idea to address a really important and timely injustice. I am so impressed by your courageous and compassionate response to the Parkland tragedy that happened in your community. Our office is buzzing with excitement about this project -- probably because of our intense love of food! Your compassionate insight is strong -- I think it is really interesting that you have identified apathy toward American gun laws as one of the root causes -- this is a critical insight and I think it is really smart to start by trying to address people could be allies in this fight but are apathetic or not paying attention to gun laws. I also love how you have connected this to Purim -- the thematic link is a brilliant way to engage the Jewish community. I also think coming together as a community over food is a really powerful form of connecting and collaborating on issues linked to our basic humanity. I think your plan to talk to the media and use social media to promote the event is really smart -- and is a good first step in terms of spreading awareness through this initiative.

Things to Consider:
I'd encourage you to add a few more details to your project plan so everyone can understand your project a bit better and to make sure you have a concrete, detailed action plan. It would be helpful if you could provide a bit more information about how you will use this opportunity to spread awareness -- will it be through conversations people have as they bake, through outreach or information given with the cookies when people buy them, etc? I think it will be really important to ensure you have concrete plans in place for spreading awareness in order to ensure you are addressing the root cause of apathy in addition to raising money. Could you add a bit more information to your plan? I'd also love to hear more about how you are collaborating with groups around the country - how did you get connected with them, and what are their plans for getting involved?
Finally, I'd encourage you to keep thinking about how you will know you are moving in the right direction -- check out our SMART goals tools for some help here. Can you set a goal for a certain number of people to hear about the work? For a certain number of cookies to be sold? Think about ways you can keep track and measure your incredible impact!

Congratulations and best of luck with your project!
 

James v.
27 February 2018 20:05

hi just wanted to let you know this is absolutely beautiful and a wonderful idea!!! i can't wait to see your progress.  

STEPHEN V.
26 February 2018 20:13

Great Gabby,
Life is about serving others in need your experience at that shooting indecent was not for nothing but God is using you now to help prevent such deadly art. It is a good start action please keep on the good work, i am praying for you and many other victims of arms valence in our world today.  

PeaceFirst A.
23 February 2018 9:52

Hi Gabby!

Thanks again so much for posting this project.

As part of the Peace First project-making process, we give formal feedback on your compassionate insight. Once your insight is all set, then you can move forward with your mini-grant application if you need funds to help move your idea into action!

I admire your courage to stand up for the injustice that you have identified and that you have decided to take action right away. I also think it is great that you are using an existing event to create awareness and to inspire action.

Something that could make your insight stronger could be elaborating a little bit more on the solution you are planning to implement. You mention that you are will try to work on "spreading awareness in the American Jewish community in conjunction with Purim, a holiday that highlights courage in the face of evil." Could you elaborate a bit more when you add your plan to help us understand how you will try to spread awareness? Are you preparing a presentation, are you going to give out materials with more information?

We would love to support in any way we can!

Raul
 

Tiegoumo gomny M.
22 February 2018 19:20

This is a very good idea, I like it, and as am too far to join with you on that day, I send you priers, am confident that your project will bring some change.  

Adrian B.
21 February 2018 13:32

Hi Gabby!

I love this project--what a cool idea! Using Purim, and tasty Hamantaschen, to spread this message makes so much sense. We'll be giving you feedback on your project insight soon, and then you can submit a mini-grant application!

In the meantime, check out some other projects that are working on similar issues:

https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/bake-action-against-gun-violence
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/youth-rally-end-gun-violence
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/gun-violence
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/quaker-teen-march-against-gun-violence

And some stories and articles, too:
https://www.peacefirst.org/stories/never-again-students-stand-against-gun-violence
https://www.peacefirst.org/stories/finding-solution-gun-violence
https://www.peacefirst.org/stories/peace-first-duets-arne-duncan-and-mary-pat-hector-discuss-gun-violence-chicago

Thanks so much for doing this important work. Let us know if you have any questions, and if there are other ways we can support you!

Best,
Adrian