If ever there was a company that walks tall on the fine line between social consciousness, conscious consumerism and capitalism, it’s Ben & Jerry’s.
Company founders Ben Greenfield and Jerry Cohen have put people above profits since they opened their first store in 1975. They sold the company to Unilever in 2000, but they continue to be involved in decisions and actively promote their original values in seriously impactful ways.
They’ve funded causes and non-profits that promote social justice and environmental activism. They’ve marched, and were even arrested earlier this year while standing up for our future.
They’ve encouraged their employees to create flavors that promote conversation and education about big issues, like their “Save our Swirled” flavor to talk about climate change, and “I Dough, I Dough” to support marriage equality. The most recent launch is “Empower-Mint” flavor: sales support the NAACP and help restore the voting rights act.
They’re dishing it out because, “an election should be more ‘by the people’ and less ‘buy the people.’”
Now Greenfield and Cohen are using their voices to appeal to President-elect Trump (gulp). In an open letter posted on their website and social media, and also covered on several major news outlets, they congratulated Trump but called him out on his responsibility to represent all Americans, and not just the few.
“Let’s be honest,” they say. “We disagree on some—okay, many—things. But this we understand: you defied the political pundits and polls and racked up a big win by tapping into something important that much of the rest of the political establishment has ignored.
[…]We stand ready to defend the progress our country has made on climate change. We will continue to be strong advocates for racial and social justice, LGBTQ rights, gender equality, respect for religious differences, and opportunity for all. We stand with women, people of color, Muslims, migrants, refugees, the LGBTQ community, the poor, and others whose lives may be further compromised by the policies and rhetoric you espoused during your campaign. And we commit to stand with you if your work is toward building a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.”
There’s more, and it’s good stuff. Find the full letter here.
So go out and grab a cone. Let’s stand behind those willing to put their money—and their ice cream—where their mouth is.
If you know of a national business that supports a message of unity, social justice, and non-discrimination in these trying times, please add it in the comments section. We’d love to support those who support equality and environmental responsibility.
United we stand, and together we are powerful. Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s, for continuing to sprinkle us all with hope, kindness and justice for all.
Author: Amanda Christmann
Image: Steve Rainwater/Flickr
Editor: Catherine Monkman
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