Ben & Jerry's has announced that it will release a new ice cream flavor called "Lights! Caramel! Action! directed by Ava DuVernay." This makes DuVernay the first Black woman to have her image featured on the company's pint. The flavor, which DuVernay personally curated, will be a mix of vanilla ice cream with salted caramel swirls, graham cracker swirls, and chocolate chip cookie dough. It will be available in both milk-based and non-dairy versions. Proceeds from the sale of the new flavor will benefit DuVernay's non-profit organization, Array Alliance.
Array Alliance was founded in 2011 with the goal of amplifying the work of artists of color and women directors. The organization is dedicated to promoting inclusion and belonging in the film and TV industries. As a result of this mission, the partnership with Ben & Jerry's is not a limited-edition run, but will be a continual release.
"Ice cream is a simple joy of life. A comfort food that I've turned to on many days — making sunny ones brighter and dark ones sweeter," DuVernay said in a statement. "Partnering with Ben & Jerry's, a company that I've long admired for their commitment to social justice, has been a thrill ride. I had the opportunity to work with food scientists to create a flavor with all the ingredients that I personally love for a cause close to my heart. Beyond being downright delicious, proceeds from further its non-profit mission of inclusion and belonging in the film and TV industries. A worthy and delicious endeavor."
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Ben & Jerry's CEO, Matthew McCarthy, echoed DuVernay's sentiments, saying, "Framing this up as a new flavor for the first Black woman to be a featured partner on our pints doesn't do Ava justice. We are humbled by this partnership, impressed by her work sharing not only the struggle but the joy in the justice, and we are inspired by her commitment and vision."
The new flavor will be available starting in January 2023, with pints shipping across the country. This marks a significant milestone for DuVernay and for Ben & Jerry's, as the company continues its commitment to social justice.