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Here at Ben & Jerry's, we're concerned that the dominant message we see in society today is one of division. Whether it's televised politcal debates or newspaper headlines, it's sometimes easy to think the world is becoming increasingly divided. People are being marginalised based on nationality, race, religion, wealth and blame for the world's problems is often being attributed to the most vulnerable. Hostile narratives are becoming more commonplace, and this just doesn't fly with us. It's time to take a stand!
A One Flavour World?
With more and more people now concerned by the growing pockets of tension in society, many have felt compelled to speak out in the name of unity, love and compassion. Hundreds of groups want to celebrate what communities have in common in order to bring people closer together. And here at Ben & Jerry's, we've been thinking about how we can amplify this message of unity using the thing we know best... ice cream!
Say hello to East Coneville, a place where hostile narrative is creating division between different flavours.
In our story the "Sour Party" is seen using divisive narrative to gain political support - a tactic we see increasingly deployed around the world. Not only does this create a feeling of exclusion for new arrivals in East Coneville, but also to flavours already living there.
In East Coneville, love and understanding need a megaphone!
Our story draws on insights from a study commissioned with Coventry University's Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) which observed polarised attitudes towards migration. According to the study, 25% of people feel hostile towards a more diverse society, and in contrast, 25% feel very positive, leaving 50% in the 'anxious middle'. Despite these figures it's perhaps easy to think that division dominates our communities.
Grass Roots Solutions Are Emerging!
There's no real quick fix to social exclusion. The disconnect between society's dominant hostile narrative and what people really believe seems clear, yet what can we do about it?
Well, across Ireland and the rest of Europe, you'll find the growth of a pretty sweet community movement. Increasing numbers of people have felt compelled to speak out in the name of unity, love and compassion. Hundreds of groups have chosen to tap into what communities have in common in order to bring people closer together. Whether it's joining charity groups that unite people through social inclusion, like Peter McVerry Trust, or organisations tackling hate speech directly, such as HOPE not hate in the UK, one thing's certain - a movement towards unity is building.
We Taste Sweeter Together
Of course East Coneville is a very simplified view of the world, but it often all begins with a conversation - dialogue can build understanding and help focus on what unites us.
Our future depends on coming together in hope, love and understanding. That's why Ben & Jerry's, in partnership with grass roots NGOs across Europe, has launched the 'One Sweet World' campaign to tackle divisive narrative, bring people together and celebrate what unites our communities.
Find out more: click here.
Join us and take a stand against division, because we don't live in a one flavour world.
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