National News

A group of kids is asking Blue Bell to change the name of its 'Great Divide' ice cream flavor to make it more inclusive

Posted June 20, 2018 9:24 a.m. EDT

— Isak, Kaleb and Jayden are three children from Coushatta, Louisiana who love Blue Bell ice cream.

They are particularly fond of the cookies 'n cream flavor and enjoy a chocolate-and-vanilla combo called "The Great Divide" because they can add toppings to it.

But during a recent ice cream party, something came up.

As they began to talk about the "Great Divide" name, some pointed out how it reminded them of racial divisions that exist in the world because of people with different skin colors.

Then they looked around, and saw a mixture of black and white faces gathered around the table.

So with the help and encouragement of Traci Schmidley -- mother of 10-year-old Isak and 8-year-old Kaleb and teacher to 11-year-old Jayden -- they came up with what they think is an improved name for the chocolate-and-vanilla mix: "Better together."

"When my son saw the ice cream carton, because he noticed one side was white, one side was black with the words 'Great Divide,' he was reminded of our nation's history when race relations were much more divided than they are now. He was eating the ice cream with friends and family, whose skin shades matched the different sides of the container," Schmidley told CNN.

So Schmidley, who is mother to six children and foster mother to more, helped the children write a letter to Blue Bell with their suggestion, which she then posted on Facebook. It was shared more than 12,000 times.

"Isak and Kaleb have lighter skin and Jayden has darker skin. But Isak and Kaleb also have a brother and sister adopted from foster care who have dark skin as well," reads the letter.

"We are all our own color and own flavor and there is no divide between us. We think we are all delicious in our own ways. So, we have a suggestion for a new name for your chocolate and vanilla ice cream flavor: BETTER TOGETHER!!"

Blue Bell Creameries, based in Brenham, Texas, told CNN they have been in contact with Traci and they were "amazed" when they read the post for its "thoughtfulness and their compassion for all people."

"We created Great Divide so that families didn't have to choose between two favorites but could enjoy both Homemade Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate in one container!" Blue Bell's spokesman Joe Robertson told CNN. "We love the idea of 'better together' and especially the thoughtful sentiment behind it."

But when asked whether the company will actually change the ice cream flavor's name, he declined to comment.