May 14, 2019
At the Workhouse jail in St. Louis, hundreds of people are locked up right now even though they haven’t been convicted of anything. Innocent people spend an average of 291 days behind bars at the Workhouse for one reason and one reason only: they can’t afford to pay bail.
This year, Ben & Jerry’s is focused on front-end criminal justice reform, which includes ending discriminatory practices like the money bail system in partnership with Advancement Project National Office, a 20-year-old civil rights and racial justice organization. Advancement Project is taking a bold step to put a stop to what’s going on at the Workhouse and other jails. We’re standing with Advancement Project, and we hope you will join us.
Ice Cream and Activism
We get asked a lot about the connection between ice cream and activism. Well, we love ice cream. We love making it and we love serving it and we love eating it. But there’s one thing we love even more than all that: supporting the causes we believe in. This isn’t anything new, of course. We’ve been doing business based on our values since the very beginning.
We feel lucky to do what we love. And we feel honored to work with organizations like Advancement Project. It began its work in 1999, and over the last two decades its brand of multi-level, multi-pronged advocacy has had a big impact on social and racial justice movements throughout the US.
Rather than limit itself to focusing solely on policymaking or grassroots organizing or communications, Advancement Project was founded on the belief that integrating all of those elements into its work to eliminate systemic and structural racism would have the biggest impact.
Whether it’s advocating for voting rights, ending the school-to-prison pipeline, decriminalizing immigration, or reforming the criminal justice system, Advancement Project builds bridges between organizers battling injustice on the ground and lawyers and policymakers seeking to eliminate unjust policies at state and national levels.
A Powerful Advocate for Change
That’s exactly what they’re doing in St. Louis, where there are eight times as many Black people in jail than white people, even though Black people make up less than half of the city’s population.
They’re working with activists on the front lines in places like Miami, where the school district invests millions upon millions of dollars in policing students of color instead of policies, programs, and resources that actually support students’ education.
This is critical work, and we are proud to be working with them to foster change.
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