Ben & Jerry’s announced Tuesday that proceeds from its newest flavor of ice cream, “Empower Mint,” will help benefit the North Carolina NAACP’s campaign to repeal the state’s voter ID law.
Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield and North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber kicked off a voter registration drive at North Carolina Central University in Durham on Tuesday to help marshal support against a new North Carolina law requiring voters to present a photo ID before they vote.
Proceeds from the sale of the new flavor will also go toward the organization’s effort to get “big money donations from corporations and wealthy elites” out of politics.
“This flavor will benefit the North Carolina NAACP, an organization dedicated to ensuring the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and eliminating racial hatred and discrimination,” the ice cream company wrote in a statement on its website.
“It just felt really good to be working with all these people here in North Carolina, who’ve been struggling to get back their right to vote for them and other people of color,” said Ben Cohen.
Campaigning against voter suppression is “not something we get to do in Vermont, because they’re so white,” he added, chuckling.
“This flavor,” Jerry Greenfield said, “helps us connect with Ben & Jerry’s fans” as we “work nationally on trying to help reauthorize the voting rights act.”
“Right now we have a government that represents rich white people,” Cohen added. “That’s not what’s it’s about. We’ve got to overturn these laws.”
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream was founded in 1978. Cohen and Greenfield sold the company they co-founded to British-Dutch corporation Unilver for $326 million in 2000.
Last January, North Carolina NAACP leader William Barber blasted the state’s voter ID law and urged voters in the state’s primary to head to the polls and vote even if they didn’t have the required photo ID.
Barber blamed the North Carolina State Board of elections of putting “unclear messages” in radio ads to mislead voters.
Earlier this year, North Carolina State Board of Elections Director Kim Strach called Barber’s claims “absolutely false.”
Ben and Jerry were among the first celebrities to publicly support Bernie Sanders’ bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“Finally, there’s a politician worth working for,” Cohen said of Sanders at a campaign rally last August.
Nine months later, Ben & Jerry were arrested along with 300 other left-wing activists during a Democracy Awakening protest in Washington, D.C.