This week, Ben & Jerry’s erected a 30 foot by 90 foot mural in Tampa, FL to honor vegan racial justice activist Colin Kaepernick. The mural is part of a larger Change the Whirled campaign between Ben & Jerry’s and Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp (KYRC) organization. In January, Ben & Jerry’s launched the new Change the Whirled vegan ice cream flavor which features a caramel sunflower butter base that is loaded with fudge chips, graham cracker swirls, and chocolate cookie swirls. A portion of the vegan flavor’s sales are donated to KYRC, a racial justice organization Kaepernick founded in 2016 in Oakland, CA to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities.
Developed in collaboration with street artist and activist Brandan “BMike” Odums, the new mural advances this effort and features a child wearing a T-shirt with Kaepernick’s image on it (the same imagery used on Ben & Jerry’s Change the Whirled vegan flavor), along with other children and a 10-point “Know Your Rights” bulletin. “The blueprint to tomorrow is in our imagination,” Odums said. “I think, ultimately, it’s the idea of allowing people, especially young people, the agency to understand that the way things are isn’t the way they’re supposed to be.”
Ben & Jerry’s advocacy for racial justice
The mural is part of a larger project that includes similar imagery and messaging on billboards in Tampa and other locales. “As we look back, it’s clear that Colin was on the right side of history,” Chris Miller, Ben & Jerry’s Head of Global Activism, said. “His pre-game protests were before George Floyd’s murder; before the 2020 summer of racial reckoning. He knew a long time ago that we need to address the root causes of racism and the structures of our society that are so brutal to Black people. We wanted to be part of the effort to honor Colin’s courage and legacy because we share the same values.”
The mural is also part of an effort to beautify Old West Tampa and support the local community and small businesses. On February 7, Ben & Jerry’s and KYRC will host a COVID-safe community drive-thru at the mural site where locals will be treated to free meals, pints of the Change the Whirled vegan flavor, and gift certificates to a local salon and barbershop. Four community groups will also receive $5,000 to support their work in the areas of power-building, educational equity, and affordable housing.