Sunday, March 21, 2010

Join the Socially Responsible Investing Coalition (SRIC)

The Socially Responsible Investing Coalition (SRIC), which formed earlier this semester on Wesleyan's campus, is comprised of a group of individuals who have come together on common purpose: to foster greater campus involvement in Wesleyan's corporate invesments and to gear those investments towards companies which respect basic levels of social responsibility. They believe that many of Wesleyan's current investments violate these principles, especially when it comes to issues of environmental degradation and sustainability. Please take a moment to read the SRIC's mission statement (see below)

They would like to invite you to join our growing coalition of multi-issue activists working to change our investment strategy. Based upon initial research into our current visible security holdings, they have uncovered numerous worrisome investments which speak to incredibly destructive environmental practices. Among these, Wesleyan invests in companies which engage in tar sands oil extraction, natural gas "fracking," crude oil drilling, deforestation, and agribusiness. They believe these practices cause significant social injury, as to warrant corporate engagement and/or divestment strategies.

They would like to have environmental concerns be at the forefront of the effort towards responsible investment and re-investment.

Questions? Contact Mica Taliaferro '11

Socially Responsible Investing Coalition (SRIC)
Mission Statement

Wesleyan’s Socially Responsible Investing Coalition (SRIC) is a grassroots, student-led initiative whose mission is to ensure that Wesleyan’s core values are reflected in our corporate investments. We strive to build a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff encompassing a wide range of political, environmental, and social justice causes, who come together on the common belief that the Wesleyan community should have greater control and influence over our University’s investments.

The goals of the SRIC are threefold:

        1. Engage with the newly formed Committee for Investor Responsibility (CIR) to facilitate corporate engagement, letter writing, proxy voting, or divestment strategies to constructively influence socially irresponsible corporate behaviors.

        2. Work within the Wesleyan community in order to engage and educate those around us on responsible investment issues. While our primary initiative will be to work through the CR, we also commit to operating campaigns for socially responsible investing which seek to alter our investment strategy through other means.

        3. Build a sustainable, diverse coalition of multi-issue grassroots organizers who come together to reconstruct our investments in a responsible manner, gearing our endowment towards investments which bring about positive changes in our world.

Wesleyan University has a longstanding history and dedication to social justice, and we believe that the University’s investments should reflect this commitment. We challenge the assumption that monetary investments are politically neutral. Many of the security holdings of this University currently rest in companies that violate the CIR’s provisions against causing “social injury.” We seek to use this institution’s shareholder leverage to pressure these corporations to change their policies or, if it becomes necessary, to remove our complicity from their socially reprehensible practices. We emphasize socially responsible re-investment of funds into environmentally friendly, human rights-based mutual funds and corporations that will aid efforts for worldwide sustainability and social equality.

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