Vermont’s most famous ice cream maker, Ben & Jerry’s, is releasing a new flavor in honor of an initiative to defund the police. Their new Changing Is Brewing flavor was created by Ben & Jerry’s to show their support of a $10 billion bill put forward by Rep. Cori Bush that would replace police officers with social workers and unAdd Newarmed first responders when the incident involves mental health or substance abuse.
The ice cream company announced its new flavor during a press briefing on Monday. The announcement featured Bush as well as Ben & Jerry’s “head of activism,” Jabari Pall. The ice cream employs the flavor of cold brew to give it its base. Those indulging will also enjoy swirls of marshmallows and chunks of brownies. Ben & Jerry’s created the flavor with help from Blk & Bold, a black-owned coffee and tea shop, plus New York’s Greyston Bakery, which is famous for its brownies.
“The flavor supports the vision of the world in which every community is safe, and everyone, including black and brown people, can thrive,” Pall said.
The packaging of the new flavor features an illustration of a Black female artist who is working on a canvas. She is painting the word “liberation” in her art.
Bush made a splash during the unveiling of the new ice cream flavor and used the opportunity to share her talking points.
“I’m the St. Louis congresswoman, and I’m proud to be the St. Louis congresswoman, to be someone whose work was born primarily out of the Ferguson uprising,” Bush said at Monday’s press conference. “For decades, our communities have suffered under the violence of intentional disinvestment and underfunding. Our healthcare, our education, our housing, our green spaces all left in shambles while our police spending per capita continued to increase to its present level as one of the highest in the country.”
“The people of St. Louis and this country deserve safety. We deserve to be safe in our communities, not only from the crime that robs us but also from the police violence perpetrated on black and brown bodies across America,” Bush added.
Ben & Jerry’s said they would distribute free samples during a rally for Changing Is Brewing and the Movement for Black Lives on August 30 in Washington, D.C.
Bush’s proposed bill would create new jobs for Americans. The bill would create a new federal agency that will become part of the Department of Health and Human Services with the goal to “research and fund alternatives to incarceration and policing that will save lives in our communities.”
Bush was criticized in the spring of 2021 for hiring private security after receiving death threats from conservative radicals who did not like her support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The ice cream company has long had an interest in social justice issues. They have regularly created flavors to support campaigns that they believe are helping the community, such as their Bernie’s Yearning flavor, which supported Sanders during his presidential bid, and Fight for $15, a movement launched by fast-food workers who fought for higher wages.
Ben & Jerry’s will donate $25,000 to support Bush’s Change is Brewing initiative.
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