Ben Cohen has long been recognized as an esteemed social activist who champions progressive causes while co-founding Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Serving on their board since 1995 and holding various executive positions including chairmanship for 12 years after leaving Massachusetts to live there in 1998 as an active and vocal contributor, Cohen used Ben & Jerry’s success to champion environmental protection initiatives as well as reform in campaign finance law reform efforts through Ben & Jerry.
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company, run by Cohen himself and famous for its tasty frozen treats as well as supporting progressive causes through ethical ingredients and practices, became well known thanks to Cohen’s leadership for its commitments both within its community as an employer as well as to community relations.
As evidence of his understanding of brand power and influence beyond commercial interests, Ben & Jerry’s founder Ben Cohen uses its sales of ice cream to support social and political causes through notable flavors like Justice Remix promoting criminal justice reform as well as celebrating same-sex marriage (I Dough I Dough).
Ben Cohen’s dedication to social justice took a dramatic and sudden shift when he was arrested at a WikiLeaks demonstration supporting Julian Assange who is facing multiple Espionage Act accusations and seeking extradition from London while being detained there. His arrest marked a new chapter of activism.
Cohen, co-founder of CODEPINK and its social justice group CODEPINK were arrested after sitting together on the steps of the Department of Justice building to protest. Her presence served as an inspiring symbol.
After Their Release From Detention
Cohen used social media after they had been released from custody to encourage action from President Biden not to prosecute Assange and to uphold his belief that reporting should never be seen as illegal activity; using hashtags #Dropthecharges and #FreeAssange to underscore his advocacy efforts.
Ben & Jerry’s Unwavering Commitment to Activism
Ben Cohen remains committed to using his platform for progressive causes despite his arrest, serving as evidence that both Ben & Jerry as an organization as well as himself are invested in positive social change. His actions represent his company as well as personal dedication towards greater societal transformation.
Ben & Jerry’s continues its commitment to social awareness with products like its “Save Our Swirled,” which raise awareness on climate changes.
Ben & Jerry’s Continues Its Legacy of Activism Ben & Jerry’s upholds its tradition of activism with its Independence Day post addressing stolen land issues and generated debate from both supporters and critics, showing its willingness to address complex social problems head on.
Ben Cohen: Bridging Business and Activism
Ben Cohen’s arrest demonstrates his dedication to disrupting social norms and fighting for justice, in contrast with Ben & Jerry’s values and business operations. Cohen serves as an invaluable reminder that business can play an integral part in driving social change while fighting for it often requires personal sacrifice and resilience on one’s part.