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Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream to Speak as Part of Moving From Charity to Justice Series

April 14 event part of series on fair wages, the economy and business success

3/29/2006 9:46:28 AM


LYNCHBURG -- Free ice cream, a movie about Wal-Mart’s effects on the economy and a community discussion on fair wages and business success are all part of the 2006 Ron and MaryJane Dolan Peace and Justice Series April 13-15.

The series is sponsored by Lynchburg College, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and community organizations. Planners said the point of this year’s series is to discuss how businesses, corporations and institutions can pay fair wages and make fair profits.

“It is not easy to pay people what they need to make, and to run a business,” said Laura Dupuy, executive director of the Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation.

The free ice cream comes courtesy of Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Homemade ice cream, who will speak on “Social Responsibility, Radical Business Philosophy and Free Ice Cream,” on April 14 at 7 p.m. at Houston Chapel, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

Greenfield and his longtime friend and business partner Ben Cohen built a store-front venture in Vermont into a $160 million publicly held ice cream empire through social responsibility and creative management.

Greenfield will talk about how a business cannot only survive, but thrive, by treating its employees and the environment with respect.

After his talk, a panel discussion: “Student Activists Tell Their Stories about Fair Wage Campaigns on Campus” will be held with closing remarks by Greenfield. Students from a number of colleges and universities will discuss how they brought attention to, and sometimes, changed wages on their campuses. At Georgetown University for example, students staged a hunger strike in 2005 to call attention to underpaid workers on their campus. Similar efforts have taken place around the country, including the University Virginia, and Mary Washington University.

“College students are beginning to recognize that the good folks who fix their meals, clean their showers and take care of the grounds often have to work extra jobs to make ends meet. Students come to care about these workers as friends and their relationships motivate the students to advocate on their behalf. It’s student activism at its best,” said Anne Gibbons, associate chaplain at Lynchburg College.

The series actually begins a day earlier, on April 13, when the movie The High Cost of Low Price,” will be shown at Lynchburg College. A panel discussion on Wal-Mart’s effects on our economy and workers will follow.

Luisa Dantes, the film’s co-producer, Joe Szakos, executive director of the Virginia Organizing Project, and Bob Baugh, director of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council, will be on the panel. The movie will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Westover Room, with a reception to follow.

On April 15, the community is invited to Lynchburg College for a dialogue on “Building a Living Economy Together” from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m in the Memorial Ballroom in Hall Campus Center.

Organizers hope business people, institutional leaders, workers, students and others will attend the discussion.

The annual series is funded by the late Ron Dolan, former president of First Colony Life Insurance, and his wife MaryJane. They established the fund to promote community awareness and discussion of issues of social justice. For more details see

Schedule of events

April 13-15: Moving From Charity to Justice: Addressing Poverty in Our Community: Ron and MaryJane Dolan Peace and Justice Series "The High Cost of Low Price,” movie and panel including Luisa Dantes, the film’s co-producer, on Wal-Mart’s effects on our economy and workers. April 13, 7 p.m. Westover Room, Lynchburg College. Reception to follow.

Jerry Greenfield,

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations