Ava DuVernay Makes History As The First Black Woman Featured On Ben & Jerry’s Pint With New Flavor

DuVernay’s “Lights! Caramel! Action” ice cream caramel-based flavor will begin shipping across the country in January 2023.

By Dominique Fluker

Ava DuVernay has become the first Black woman to have her image on a Ben & Jerry’s pint. Ben & Jerry’s is lifting the curtain on its newest production – a delicious partnership with Ava DuVernay.

The ice cream company presents “Lights! Caramel! Action!” directed by Ava DuVernay, featuring an ensemble cast of vanilla ice cream, salted caramel swirls, graham cracker swirls, and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough. Ice cream and almond milk-based Non-Dairy versions of the flavor will begin shipping across the country in January 2023. 

Ava’s “Lights! Caramel! Action!” ice cream proceeds will benefit her non-profit ARRAY Alliance. Through the social impact work of ARRAY Alliance, DuVernay’s mission is 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.

Founded in 2011 by DuVernay, ARRAY is a Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective dedicated to narrative change. The organization catalyzes 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 darker ones sweeter,” said DuVernay.

She continues, “Partnering with Ben & Jerry’s, a company I’ve long admired for their commitment to social justice, has been a thrill ride. I worked with food scientists to create a flavor with all the ingredients I 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.”

While the flavor is quite a mouthful, so is the intent of Ben & Jerry’s on the importance of this partnership. “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,” said 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,” added McCarthy.