With Asian Americans being targeted and attacked in cities across the country, many in those communities are now on edge.
“It feels like you’re not safe in your own home and it’s heartbreaking,” said kindergarten teacher Christelle Villanueva.
Villanueva lives in Northern California and is now looking to make social change by cooking and sharing food from her culture with people from other areas.
She recently started volunteering with Yeast for Change, a nonprofit that’s promoting cultural diversity and easing racial tension by baking Asian-inspired pastries, sharing them with different cultures and starting conversations.
“Hopefully through this small thing, many people are able to learn more about each other’s cultures and build some respect for each other as well,” Villanueva said.
Bakers across the country have started volunteering their time and talents, cooking food and using social media to meet and then deliver Asian-inspired dishes food to people like Pedro Sanchez.
“Through being able to eat together, we can share our experiences as well as see as where they are coming from,” he said.
Sanchez identifies as Mexican American and says eating traditional Asian cuisines inspires him to make much needed change.
“We have to be those to be able to do something and if it’s listening to their stories, advocating doing things physically, then we have to do what we can do,” he said.
Moving forward, Yeast for Change is looking to rise up against racial tension and expand its operations, with Villanueva calling it food for the soul.
“Even though it’s a tiny it can spark something bigger,” she said. “It’s a starting point for deeper conversations that we can have about cultural differences.”