Meet the foundations that took home NCRP Impact Awards
Established in 1985, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation is known for working to advance social and environmental justice and encouraging safe and sustainable food systems. The foundation is funded through an annual allocation based on a portion of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sales. Nearly all of the foundation’s grantmaking decisions are made by teams of Ben & Jerry’s employees.
The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation embodies the belief that lasting change occurs when systemic forces are understood and addressed, when the people most affected by a problem are in positions to determine solutions and when groups work across sectors for the common principles of human rights and social justice. The foundation also upholds grassroots organizing as the most effective strategy for social change. These philosophies are realized by the work of the foundation’s grantees.
In addition to national grantmaking, the foundation has supported organizations working in Vermont on issues of national consequence. One of these is Migrant Justice, whose efforts were significant in achieving a change in Vermont law that allows migrant workers access to driver’s privilege cards. The policy win affects approximately 1,500 migrant workers in Vermont. Danilo Lopez, spokesperson for Migrant Justice and a farm worker, began his advocacy work in 2011 after a car he was a passenger in was pulled over by Vermont State Police and he was turned over to federal immigration authorities. Just one week following this policy win, Lopez faced his own deportation. Migrant Justice rallied, collecting 4,000 petition signatures and organizing a rally at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Center in Vermont, ultimately suspending Lopez’s extradition – a prime example of the power of community organizing.