Ben & Jerry’s and Ava DuVernay are partnering for its latest production, Lights! Caramel! Action! —an ensemble cast of vanilla ice cream with salted caramel swirls, graham cracker swirls and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough. The flavor that comes in both ice cream and almond milk will begin shipping nationwide in January 2023. Soon to be a food favorite, the flavor was fully directed by DuVernay, who personally worked with Ben & Jerry’s flavor gurus to “produce it.”
Proceeds from Lights! Caramel! Action! will benefit her nonprofit ARRAY Alliance, which works to amplify and elevate the work of artists of color and women directors, create inclusive film sets, and provide grants, mentorship and education for people from underrepresented communities who want to work in the film industry.
DuVernay founded the Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective dedicated to narrative change in 2011. ARRAY drives its work through a quartet of mission-driven entities: the film distribution arm ARRAY Releasing, the content company ARRAY Filmworks, the programming and production hub ARRAY Creative Campus and the non-profit group ARRAY Alliance.
“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,” says DuVernay. “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 Lights! Caramel! Action! will help ARRAY Alliance further its non-profit mission of inclusion and belonging in the film and TV industries. A worthy and delicious endeavor.”
DuVernay is the first African-American woman nominated for an Academy Award as a director in any feature category. She is currently writing, directing and producing the narrative film adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson’s bestseller, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent.”
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“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,” says Matthew McCarthy, Ben & Jerry’s CEO. “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 full-time addition of Lights! Caramel! Action! will be available in grocery stores and franchised Scoop Shops across the country and will retail for $6.49.