Story at a glance
- Ben & Jerry's ice cream company is producing a podcast discussing the history of racism in U.S.
- Other large U.S. companies are taking steps to become anti-racist and support the Black Lives Matter movement.
After becoming one of the unlikely sources of support to the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd, ice cream juggernaut and “aspiring social justice company” Ben & Jerry’s announced the creation of a new podcast examining the history of racism and white supremacy in the U.S.
In partnership with Vox Media, Ben & Jerry’s is producing a podcast titled “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America.” It is set to be hosted by Carvell Wallace, a bestselling author and veteran podcaster, and executive produced by Jeffery Robinson, a deputy legal director at the ACLU.
The show aims at examining “lesser-known” stories of racial injustice, such as the insidious racism inherent in legal discrimination and police brutality that continued despite slavery being formally outlawed in the U.S. following the end of the Civil War.
By examining the lingering racism still embedded in many U.S. institutions, the podcast will explain how Black Americans have remained economically and socially redlined as opposed to their white or other American counterparts.
The podcast will contain six episodes lasting 30 minutes each. “Who We Are” will ultimately aim to educate its audience to help “dismantle systemic racism.”
“Economic and social justice has been a part of Ben & Jerry's mission since our founding 42 years ago,” Jabari Paul, Ben & Jerry's US Activism Manager said in a prepared statement. “We now sit at a critical inflection point in our nation's history. If we are to seize the opening that this moment presents, we must be willing to acknowledge the sins of our past so that we move together toward a future of justice and equity.”
The Vermont-based dessert company created this podcast in part with it’s Justice ReMix’d campaign, which focuses on criminal justice reform and racial inequity in the U.S.
Speaking to CNN, Ben & Jerry’s integrated marketing executive Jay Curley explained that despite the recent alignment with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the police death of George Floyd in May, the company has worked on racial justice issues for several years.
"Our company has been centering our activism and advocacy work in the US on issues of racial justice and equity for the last five years and specifically on the need to reform our nation's criminal justice system for the last two years," Curley explained. "This podcast is part of our larger body of work on these issues."
Several large companies, such as Nike, Apple and Uber, have vowed to become stronger corporate allies to Black Americans by employing a more diverse workforce and investing in community anti-racism programs. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously said that profitable corporations should play a larger role in helping close the wealth gap between Black Americans and white Americans.
“There is more we can and must do to hire, develop, and support those from underrepresented groups, especially our Black and brown colleagues,” Cook said.