Ben & Jerry’s, Burlington, Vt., partnered with Advancement Project National Office to launch Justice ReMix’d, a flavor created to spotlight structural racism in the criminal legal system. Those are big issues for a business to take on, but Ben & Jerry’s said it has been an advocate for social justice and equity for much of its 40 years as a company.
Justice ReMix’d is cinnamon and chocolate ice cream with gobs of cinnamon bun dough and spicy fudge brownies. Ben & Jerry’s said the flavor is part of its multi-year campaign for criminal justice reform. Justice-seekers with a sweet tooth can find the new flavor in grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $4.99. The flavor is also available in the company’s scoop shops.
“Our approach to creating social change is to raise up the work nonprofits are doing on the ground,” said Cofounder Ben Cohen. “We bring every resource we have to support them — our business voice, our connection with fans, our scoop shop community and of course, ice cream. Somehow, it’s easier to talk about difficult issues over a scoop or two.”
Advancement Project National Office is a national multi-racial civil rights organization that works with local grassroots organizers on racial justice issues. Ben & Jerry’s said it worked with the organization’s grassroots partner Power U Center for Social Change in calling on the Miami-Dade County School Board to prioritize funding for mental health and counselors instead of more school police officers. It also worked with the #CloseTheWorkhouse campaign in St. Louis to help shut down an inhumane jail and advocate against wealth-based pre-trial detention.
In both cities, Ben & Jerry’s said it deployed its Scoop Truck to generate conversations, listen and give away ice cream. It’s a tactic that has proven effective in growing social movements.
“Our country needs to invest in services that build up communities rather than those that tear them down,” said Advancement Project National Office Executive Director Judith Browne Dianis. “That means ending a wealth-based pre-trial detention system that locks people up because they are poor, Black or Brown.”