MIAMI – Ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s says everyone deserves the sweet taste of justice, and wants its new flavor to call attention to what the company founders see as “structural racism” in the criminal legal system.
The Vermont-based company announced the “Justice ReMix’d” flavor on Tuesday September 3, along with plans to give a portion of the sale proceeds to support the Advancement Project national office. It’s a multi-racial civil rights group that works with local grassroots organizers on racial-justice issues.
Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of the Advancement Project National Office, said the partnership represents thinking “outside the box” about what justice could be – and driving the conversation with a treat.
“And its got cinnamon and chocolate and vanilla ice cream,” she said, “and so it really is a totally re-imagining of the kind of sweet treats that people want, bringing them together and blending them.”
Youth members at the Power U Center for Social Change will attend tonight’s Miami-Dade School Board meeting, where they’ll call for restorative-justice practices in schools to help curb what’s known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” They’ll also share free samples of the ice cream.
According to a report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, although 20% of Miami-Dade students are black, black students account for more than half of all arrests within the district. Dianis said young Floridians are calling for change.
“The young people realize that the school-to-prison pipeline is cutting off their opportunities,” she said, “and that is unfair, that black and brown students are being criminalized in the school system.”
In response to critics of Miami-Dade School District plans to hire more school resource officers over its need for counselors, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said, “People need to understand – it is not in the hands of this board. It is a legal requirement in the state of Florida, in the aftermath of Marjory Stoneman Douglas.” Seventeen people were killed in a Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.