In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, America faces a racial reckoning—one that requires an honest look at the American history that has allowed and encouraged white supremacy to thrive for the last 400 years.
On September 15, 2020, Ben & Jerry’s, Vox Media, and The Who We Are Project will launch a podcast examining the lesser-known history of racial injustice. ”Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism In America” will show the hidden ways legal discrimination and state-sanctioned brutality continued long after slavery ended, profoundly limiting Black Americans’ ability to gain access to jobs, housing, education, and health care; or to create and accumulate wealth.
The podcast, based on Jeffery Robinson’s acclaimed presentation of the same name, will look at a history written from the perspective of those who sought to justify owning other humans as property and then treating them as inferior after the enslaved humans were “freed.” As executive producer and legal authority, Robinson will provide surprising insights for the 6-episode podcast. Robinson is a deputy legal director of the ACLU and the director of the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality. He spent nine years researching his multi-media “Who We Are” presentation, which will soon be released as a documentary.
The “Who We Are” podcast will be hosted by New York Times bestselling author Carvell Wallace, a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, memoirist and award-winning podcaster. Carvell covers race, art, and culture for a variety of news outlets. His podcast “Finding Fred,” about the magic and ministry of Mr. Rogers, was recently nominated for a Peabody.
The goal of “Who We Are” is to educate and encourage audiences to dismantle systemic racism. Ben & Jerry’s has been working on implicit bias, the school-to-prison pipeline, and criminal justice reform as part of its Justice ReMix’d campaign.
“Economic and social justice has been a part of Ben & Jerry’s mission since our founding 42 years ago,” said Jabari Paul, Ben & Jerry’s US Activism Manager. “We now sit at a critical inflection point in our nation’s history. If we are to seize the opening that this moment presents, we must be willing to acknowledge the sins of our past so that we move together toward a future of justice and equity.”
Each 30-minute episode of the podcast will focus on a different period in American history and its link to modern-day systemic racism. Each will end with a call-to-action.
The podcast is produced by Vox Creative, Vox Media’s award-winning brand studio, and is Vox Media Podcast Network’s first original series produced in partnership with a brand.
Listen to the trailer here: