Ice cream giant, Ben & Jerry have been about social activism and awareness since their inception. Recently, they took a bold step towards supporting all protestors and the #Blacklivesmatters movement
Per The Grio:
Speaking at their annual franchisee meeting earlier this month in New Orleans, Cohen and Greenfield—who sold Ben & Jerry’s to Unilever Corp. in 2000 but who reportedly remain heavily involved in operations—have publicly declared themselves allies of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Specifically raising awareness about the movement’s “Hands up, don’t shoot” iteration, Cohen urged franchise owners to sell T-shirts benefiting the work of Hands Up United, a grassroots organization founded by St. Louis hip-hop artist and activist Tef Poe and activist Taureen “Tory” Russell.
“Some people might say, ‘Oh, we can’t do that,’” Cohen said to franchise owners. “‘We can’t sell those T-shirts in our shops; it’s controversial.’ But isn’t that exactly the point? If it weren’t controversial, we wouldn’t need to do it. At some point we have to ask ourselves: ‘What do we stand for? Whose side are you on?’”
Cohen spoke the names of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford and Michael Brown, all unarmed black men and children killed by police officers. He also ran a clip of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins responding to criticism he received for wearing a shirt on the field calling for justice for Tamir and Crawford.
Watch a clip of Cohen speaking to franchisees below