Sweet Social Justice

As hard as it is to change our personal beliefs and habits, there is great satisfaction in seeing others gain more of their human rights. Likewise  we experience discomfort, even deep suffering, when we know that individuals and groups are being deprived of these basics. This heart-centered view of social justice is based upon our essential biological oneness.

The Declaration of Independence states that “We hold these Truths to be
self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” There are other outlooks on
social justice.  Investopedia says Social justice is a political and philosophical
concept which holds that all people should have equal access to wealth,
health, well-being, justice and opportunity. Social justice is a broad
concept that is not limited to any specific religious or political movement.”
It adds “Self-identified advocates of social justice are often at odds with
one another over specific policies and priorities, but share a broad vision
of an ideal society in which no one race, class, religion, sexual orientation,
gender identity, or language group is singled out for oppression or enjoys
special privileges.”

There is another form of social justice evolving. It is the socially responsible organization, companies that base their decisions on the needs of their workers and all of the outside world. One of the companies at the front of this movement is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Famous for their delicious flavors and catchy titles, they have lent their brand to a number of worthwhile causes. Some of the more notable limited batches are: Save Our Swirld (solving climate change), Empower Mint (ending discrimination, I Dough, I Dough (supporting marriage equality), Home Sweet Honey Comb, (addressing immigration reform), One Sweet World (ending poverty), and Pecan Resist (getting through Trump’s presidency.

The newest flavor is Justice ReMix’d, a blend of chocolate brownie and cinnamon with a swirl of “sweet justice” just under the lid. It may not make it to the Ranker’s Best Ben and Jerry’s Flavor List, but it encourages us to support criminal justice reform.  The unveiling of this flavor took place in our Nation’s capitol and involved partnering up with The Advancement Project , a next-generation civil rights organization working to end systemic racism. The founders of this company,  Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, showed up to scoop out the  ice-cream.

Ben Cohen

Jerry Greenfield

Just a glance our analysis shows that Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were both born in the zodiac sign of Pisces. Actually they were born just four days apart and within the same hospital. So, it is not surprising as children they were best friends, but it is remarkable that these “two fishes” managed to swim professionally in the same direction for most of their lives. Pisces have a strong tendency to “drift away” or “move on” if ever things get stagnant or dull.

Cone or carton, your choice.

Out of college both of these young men were unsettled, but their joint creativity flowed once they settled on producing and selling ice-cream. Both admit that in the beginning neither knew what was going on and had to hire an accountant. After establishing their first “ice cream palor” they worked hard developing their product lines while increasing their distribution from local to national. The effort was clearly worth it. In 1988, they won the title of U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year, awarded by President Ronald Reagan. And they were on their way!

These two Pisceans have differing Day Rays, having been born on different days of the week. Cohen was born on Sunday and filled the bill of administrator. He resigned as Chief Executive Officer in 1990 but remains on the advisory board. Cohen has become increasingly active in progressive Vermont state politics and has supported the campaigns of Bernie Sanders. The role of Greenfield, who was born on Wednesday, is less well defined. He was once appointed Director of Mobile Promotions, whatever that means. He is currently the head of The Ben and Jerry Foundation, responsible for giving out social justice grants within the state of Vermont.

In April 2000 Cohen and Greenfield sold their company to Unilever but say that they still work at Ben and Jerry’s “without responsibilities and without authority.” Oh, that’s so Piscean!

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