Colin Kaepernick And Ben & Jerry's Team Up To Challenge Law Enforcement Budgets
Ben & Jerry's and Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp are joining forces for a new billboard campaign hitting Los Angeles as it prepares to host the big game on February 13, according to a PR Newswire report.
Photo Insert: Colin Kaepernick's Ben & Jerry's billboard
The campaign asks state and local governments to invest in programs and services that address the root causes of social harm rather than in policing and prisons.
Despite police spending being at an all-time high, crime rates are increasing. Additionally, these crime rates don't capture other forms of harm that remain unaddressed in communities.
Data shows the best way to address harm and reduce crime is to address root causes by investing in livable wages, mental health services, safe housing, and youth development programs. Studies also show investing in vital services like education, job training, and substance-use treatment can have a significant, positive impact on people's health and well-being, and on the safety of their communities.
"If U.S. law enforcement were a country, it would have the third-largest military budget in the world," said Chris Miller, Ben & Jerry's Global Head of Activism Strategy. "It's time to take a community-based approach to public safety because it's the best and most effective way to strengthen our communities and keep people healthy and safe."
The U.S. currently spends $205 billion every year on law enforcement; more than the military budgets of North Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and India combined.
Only China spends more on law enforcement than the United States. Despite decades of spending, there has been no discernible impact on social harm or crime, and the impact on Black and Brown communities is well-documented.
"Policing and prisons in the United States were never intended to keep our communities safe and they actively threaten the safety, security, and health of Black and Brown people," said Colin Kaepernick, activist, Know Your Rights Camp co-founder, and former Super Bowl quarterback.
"When people have what they need to provide and care for themselves and their families, thriving communities are possible. For all of us to truly be safe, we need to invest deeply in our own communities and abolish policing and prisons. That's why we've partnered with Ben & Jerry's to support organizations on the ground that are providing support and services that we know can help to create safer and healthier communities in Los Angeles."
Ben & Jerry's partnership with Colin Kaepernick began in 2020 when the company launched "Change the Whirled" non-dairy frozen dessert. Kaepernick's portion of the proceeds from sales of Change the Whirled support the work of Know Your Rights Camp, a non-profit he founded in 2016 to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities.
To bolster public safety in Los Angeles, Ben & Jerry's and Know Your Rights Camp are donating to a number of local community groups that provide critical support and care. The partnership will focus on organizations working to provide safe housing and job training, substance use and mental health services, and education.