Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, VT is marking the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign with a special display from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The ice cream factory is Vermont’s largest, single tourist attraction, receiving almost 400,000 people a year.
On Friday, June 22, Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder Jerry Greenfield dropped the curtain on a new display depicting Dr. King’s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign against racism, poverty, and militarism. “These issues are as pressing today as they were 50 years ago,” said Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim. “We’re hoping these images will inspire people to join the Poor People’s Campaign for racial and economic justice.”
Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was on hand to share his perspective as a long-time civil rights leader and organizer. Dr. LaFayette worked closely with Dr. King and was with him just hours before his assassination.
Dr. Aaron Bryant, curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, gave an overview of the exhibit’s significance. “This display explores Dr. King’s final and most ambitious campaign to end poverty in America. It serves as an inspiration to the modern effort for economic justice and fairness, and reminds us how much more work needs to be done.”
On Saturday, June 23, the public is invited to Community Day at the Waterbury factory from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, with a talk, exhibit tour, family-friendly activities, and ice cream.
The exhibit will be on display through December 31, 2018.