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Co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to speak at URI

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

Ben Cohen to talk about corporate responsibility

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 29, 2004 -- Here’s the scoop: Ben Cohen, who split the $5 cost of a home study course on ice cream making with his junior high school buddy and turned it into a $237-million socially conscious business, will speak at the University of Rhode Island on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

His talk, “Corporate Social Responsibility: Radical Business Philosophy,” is part of URI’s Honors Colloquium, Food & Human Rights, Hunger & Social Policy. The event will be held in the Barry Marks Auditorium, Room 271, Chafee Social Science Center, Kingston campus. Free and open to the public, the talk is sponsored by URI’s College of Business Administration and URI’s College of the Environment & Life Sciences.

Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream Parlor opened in 1978 in a renovated gas station on a street corner in Burlington, Vt. The business quickly became known for its rich, unusual flavors such as “Chunky Monkey” and “Cherry Garcia” and its fun-loving, social conscious owners.

In 1985, the pair established the Ben & Jerry Foundation to fund community-oriented projects. Since then, the Foundation is provided with 7.5 percent of the company’s annual pre-tax profits.

Cohen founded the TrueMajority campaign, which has as the first of its 10 principles “attack poverty and world hunger as if our life depends on it. It does.”

Other major sponsors of the colloquium include Edward W. Bouclin; The Providence Journal; Theta Chi Fraternity; URI’s College of Arts & Sciences, College of Human Science & Services, Division of University Advancement; Honors Program, Office of the Provost, and President’s Office. Co-sponsors include URI’s College of Nursing, Multicultural Center, Office of Student Affairs, Partnership on Food, Hunger, and Nutrition, Women’s Center, and Women’s Studies Program.

For the most current colloquium information, visit or call the URI Honors Center at 401- 874- 2381.