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Omaha bakery supporting LGBTQ+ community during Pride

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha bakery is donating proceeds from some of their sweet treats to help support the local LGBTQ+ community in North Omaha.

In the five years that the Sweet Magnolia Bake Shop has been feeding goodies to the Omaha area, they’ve also been supporting underrepresented members of the community — including during Pride month.

“I knew from the beginning that I wanted to run a business with social purpose, so it made sense naturally to choose the things that mean the most to me,” said Katina Talley, the owner of the bake shop near 40th and Cuming streets.

“Every year, we select a nonprofit in the community that supports the LGBTQ+ community to donate the proceeds from two items that we make for Pride, they’re the Pride donuts and the Pride bars,” Talley says.

For the month of June, 100% of the proceeds will go to Black and Pink, the organization Talley chose this year.

“Black and Pink is the largest prison abolitionist organization in the United States, and we also happen to center the identities of LGBTQ+ people or individuals that identify as living with HIV and AIDs,” said Dominique Morgan, the executive director of the organization, which is based in Omaha but has chapters across the country. “We’re trying to show up for people, and make sure we can get them out, and once they’re out, they stay out and they’re supported and they begin to thrive,” she says.

The organization seeks to help people much like herself, a Black, transgender woman who spent time in Nebraska’s Department of Corrections. The funds from Sweet Magnolias will specifically go to Black and Pink’s Opportunity Campus.

“Opportunity Campus is what I wish existed when I was 13 years old and in the Douglas County youth center and in and out of youth homes,” Morgan said. “This space where young people who identify on the LGBTQ spectrum, or young people who identify as living with HIV and AIDs — and that is a truth in our community as well — can come and get access to housing.”

The campus is also looking forward to opening educational spaces and a library for youths. The 10 apartments run by the organization are located in North Omaha, where Morgan was born and raised.

“I felt like one of the only ways I’d be successful as a young executive director was doing this work in Omaha because of our philanthropic community,” she said. “Omaha folks are energized by showing up for people.”

Talley says that energy shows through every year when her bakery hosts the Pride month sales. “In years past, it had been in the hundreds, and last year it was in the thousands. It would be awesome if we could do that again,” Talley said.

Support from local businesses like Talley’s is what Morgan says helps make them stronger.

“It shows that you may not want to work for a nonprofit or be an executive director, or all the other ways you can advocate, but you can make change,” she said. “You can shift things and shift it through your superpower. These folks bake some of the most amazing things I’ve ever tasted, and, because of that, young people all across the U.S. are going to have safe housing and support rooted in Omaha. And I think that’s the power of community, that’s the power of Omaha, and that’s why I’m still here.”

Those interested in getting involved with Black and Pink can visit their website.

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