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Ben & Jerry’s New Flavor Combats Social Injustice

Photos courtesy of  Ben & Jerry’s

While famous for their delicious ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s has long been involved in social and environmental justice. Their latest campaign finds them partnering with Advancement Project National Office on a new campaign called “Justice ReMix’d.” Justice ReMix’d is a new flavor concoction described as cinnamon and chocolate ice cream with chunks of cinnamon bun dough and spicy fudge brownie. It was created to help spotlight structural racism in a broken criminal legal system. To spearhead the campaign, Ben & Jerry’s tapped actor Jessie Williams, of Grey’s Anatomy fame, to help announce the new ice cream flavor.  Aside from acting, Jessie Williams is a prominent voice on the social activism front and is a member of Advancement Project National Office. 

Advancement Project National Office is a multi-racial civil rights organization that has been involved in community work for over a decade. Recently, criminal justice reform has become a hot topic thanks to a handful of documentaries like Ava Duvernay’s “The 13th,” sparking conversation amongst mainstream culture. While tackling social injustice is an up-hill fight, the Justice ReMix’d campaign presents a fun way to connect over a complex subject. Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder Ben Cohen had this to say:

“Our approach to creating social change is to raise up the work non-profits are doing on the ground. We bring every resource we have to support them — our business voice, our connection with fans, our Scoop Shop community and of course, ice cream. Somehow, it’s easier to talk about difficult issues over a scoop or two.”  

Judith Browne Dianis, Advancement Project National Office’s Executive Director added, “Our country needs to invest in services that build up communities rather than those that tear them down. That means ending a wealth-based pre-trial detention system that locks people up because they are poor, black or brown. It means dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, divesting from criminalizing students and investing in the creation of high-quality education and services. It’s time to reimagine safety and justice.” 

Justice ReMix’d can be found at grocery stores and Ben & Jerry Scoop Shops nationwide with a portion of the proceeds going towards Advancement Project National Office to support their Free & Safe campaignIn addition to tasty ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s will be sending its Scoop Truck around several states to start conversations, activate members of the community, and give away ice cream. Everyone enjoys ice cream, but now you can enjoy it and show your support for criminal justice reform by purchasing Justice ReMix’d at your local grocery store.


Woman Allegedly Gets Thrown Out of Urth Caffe For Being Muslim


A popular cafe franchise in Southern California is under fire after an employee allegedly kicked out a woman for being Muslim.

Sara Farsakh, a Muslim woman, was dining at Urth Caffe’s Laguna Hills location last night when a employee by the name of “Tino” approached her table. Farsakh wrote on in a Facebook post:

“Tino explained that they were anticipating a busy evening and needed to clear tables and that per their policy anyone that had been there for over 45 minutes was required to share or give up their table to other customers.”

However, Farsakh and her group had just gotten there and the policy only applies when the restaurant is clearly busy, Farsakh took video footage of the numerous tables that were available and the short line out front.

“We told Tino that our orders had just arrived and that we couldn’t reasonably finish and leave within 10 minutes. He said it didn’t matter and we had to leave.”

“The party on the table next to us (a group of white women) overheard our conversation and were shocked. They told us they had been sitting far longer than we had but had never been told to prepare to leave.”

After trying to reach the owner via other staff members to no avail, the police were called to escort the women off the premises. The officers reminded the woman that an establishment as the right to refused service to anyone regardless of the reason.

“I truly believe that because I was sitting with visibly Muslim women, we were singled out when we were asked to leave. I can’t even begin to express the feelings of embarrassment and humiliation as police officers were called to escort out a group of Muslim women from a restaurant. Shame on you Urth Caffe for your disgusting and racist treatment of paying customers.”

More NextShark Stories: Selena Gomez Reportedly Banned From China After Meeting the Dalai Lama

Since Farsakh’s post has gone viral, Urth Caffe’s Yelp and Facebook pages have been flooded with negative reviews for their Laguna Hills Location.


Here’s Farsakh’s Facebook post in full.

We’ve reached out to Urth Caffe for a comment and will update this post once they respond.


Written by Editorial Staff, NextShark

Hit-Or-Miss News

5 Little Known Supreme Court Rulings That Affect How You Eat And Drink

The Supreme Court handles cases that deal with all avenues of life, and eating and drinking are no exception. The Highest Court is on everyone’s mind these days, from the Illuminati-esque death of Justice Antonin Scalia to Justice Clarence Thomas’ surprising break from his usual silence. Naturally, we started wondering if there have been any SCOTUS rulings in the world of food and drink that have affected our lives in major ways, and whether we would have a chance to bring them up the next time we’re trying to sound knowledgeable at a party. Yes and yes.

South Dakota v. Dole


Credit: Ildar Sagdejev, via Wikimedia Commons

In South Dakota v. Dole, the court had to determine whether Congress’ 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act is constitutional. Because of the states-rights focus of the 21st Amendment, one of the finest pieces of writing in American history, the federal government can’t directly enforce a minimum drinking age — it’s up to the states to regulate everything to do with booze. So to put some pressure on the states, the NMDAA withholds 5 percent from the transportation budget of any state that doesn’t enforce a 21-or-older drinking age.

At the time, South Dakota wanted to get 19-year-olds drunk while maintaining 100 percent of their federal highway funds, which should obviously replace “have your cake and eat it too” as an idiom for wanting it all. So the state sued. In a 7-2 decision that has kept 19-year-olds from drinking ever since, the court found that Congress was within its constitutional right to blackmail states so long as it was a reasonable amount of blackmail.

Granholm v. Heald


Credit: Matt Pourney, via Wikimedia Commons

Alcohol again!  Granholm v. Heald was a 2004 Supreme Court case that centered around red-blooded Americans in Michigan and New York wanting the inalienable right to have booze shipped to them from wherever they pleased, because, and this can’t be stressed enough, this is America. Those states allowed in-state wineries to ship directly to in-state consumers but did not allow shipments from wineries outside their borders. The states argued that the 21st Amendment guarantees states the right to police everything about alcohol, including its use as a pawn in the game of monopolistic business practices, apparently.

In a 5-4 decision, the High Court ruled that the states were violating a clause of the Constitution that has to do with interstate commerce, but that’s boring, so let’s just pretend a majority of those justices were winos. Unfortunately for us consumers, the ruling didn’t mean all states have to allow booze shipments, just that states couldn’t have different rules for out-of-state businesses. State liquor control commissions being the antisocial weirdos of this playground we call American bureaucracy, they didn’t just open the booze cabinet and invite everyone to party, particularly in Michigan, where their response was to ban all direct shipments of booze, effectively taking their ball and going home.

Pom Wonderful v. Coca-Cola


Credit: Pom Wonderful

Pom Wonderful v. Coca-Cola was a 2014 Supreme Court case that at its core asked: Can we sue a beverage company for misleading packaging? It was not, weirdly, a lawsuit about whether pomegranate can even be considered a fruit, rather than a stone-filled orb that’s possibly from another planet. The details about why this was even a question are interesting and well documented elsewhere. The main takeaway is: A very important round of the false advertising wars would be fought on the field of juice. Pom claimed that Coca-Cola had deceived consumers with a product that contained less than half a percent of the fruit they named and showed on the bottle.

Regardless of their motivation, in bringing the suit Pom was asking an important question about consumer rights when it comes to false advertising on food packaging, which had historically been practically untouchable because courts didn’t want to undercut the FDA’s authority to police food advertising claims. Where would we be if we superseded the FDA’s jurisdiction over juice, after all? The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Pom unanimously (though one justice did not take part), which allowed the suit to proceed. The important result for consumers is the decision paves the way for food and beverage companies to be more diligent about false advertising, and now your bacon-infused whatever better have some damn bacon in it, legally speaking.

44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island


Aaaand back to booze. In the 1950s, Rhode Island enacted a statutory ban on any advertising that listed the price of liquor, because we all know that the first step toward alcoholism for many Americans is the inability to pass up a good deal. In 1985, 44 Liquormart sued the state after the company was fined $400 for including liquor in an advertisement next to some mixers and snacks that had prices listed. The citation was issued because 44 Liquormart implied it had low prices and also showed liquor, which sounds like an overreach even for the original law, which in itself seems unconstitutional. 44 Liquormart thought so too. The lawsuits flew, and after a roller coaster ride through the lower courts, the Supreme Court heard arguments in 44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island. The justices unanimously agreed that the law violated the First Amendment, which was probably better for 44 Liquormart’s marketing than being able to put prices on their ads. Maybe their next move should be to team up with Pom Wonderful for a marketing campaign focused on pomegranate cocktails that are truthfully advertised and specifically reasonably priced.

Katzenbach v. McClung


Credit: Mark Pellegrini, via Wikimedia Commons

And lest you assume Supreme Court rulings on the food and beverage industry result in only narrow changes to the way life works, check out Katzenbach v. McClung: Ollie McClung was a barbecue aficionado and huge racist in Birmingham, AL, in the ’20s. His restaurant had been in business for nearly 40 years by 1964. At that time, many restaurants allowed only white customers inside for table service, with everyone else (primarily black people) relegated to a takeout window. The white restaurateurs had found a way to honor their core value of greed without having to compromise their core value of racism. But the Civil Rights Act of 1964 threatened to change the game.

McClung, supported by many other local restaurants, challenged the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act, filing a lawsuit claiming federal government had no jurisdiction to impose its law on a small local business. The Supreme Court eventually got the case, but twist! One of the justices at the time, Hugo Black, was a Birminghamian whose wife was a regular diner at Ollie’s. Oh, and one more thing: Justice Black (amusing/frightening juxtaposition in 3 … 2 … 1) was a former member of the KKK. And not for nothing, but the other eight justices didn’t exactly represent a cross-section of US culture either. Granted, it was a majority liberal court, but still, during the McClung case five of the nine justices were white men born in the 1800s, so their definition of “progressive” wasn’t necessarily a lock.

Yet the Court ruled unanimously in favor of the right side of history, citing the fact that Ollie’s sourced ingredients from out of state, meaning interstate commerce applied and the Civil Rights Act could be enforced. Tricky! Ollie’s could no longer discriminate, and despite being forced to serve everyone in the same manner, the restaurant stayed in business for over 30 more years. It was a landmark decision for the Civil Rights movement that helped pave the way to eliminate segregation in all forms.