On behalf of the SGI Board, I am proud to present the SGI Strategic Plan for 2018-2020. This marks a renewed beginning for us as an organization and a structural shift from a “founder-focused mission” to a “member-led coalition.” We embrace the same passion, focus and values as our founders. We will continue Fr. Mike’s legacy and mission to “bring Good News to the poor and the planet.” We will work collaboratively with “ICCR and others to improve corporate decision-making and public policy on environmental, social and governance issues.” We created the path for our future. We welcome you to join with us, promote SGI and participate fully in this mission.
Four SGI members participated in ICCR‘s Spring Conference: Sr. Ruth Battaglia, C.S.A., Chris Cox, Frank Sherman, and Friar Robert Wotypka, O.F.M., Cap. We will report back what we heard and learned in a variety of ways in the coming weeks.
Today’s tweet from Pope Francis reminds us that preventing evil is not enough; we must take positive action together. Since its inception, SGI has endeavored to make the voices and concerns of those who suffer injustice the center of our reflection and action. I see it reflected as well in the work of the new Racial Justice Investing group within ICCR.
National events in 2017 intensified focus on racial, ethnic, and gender equality. The #MeToo movement, protests concerning the Confederate Flag and Confederate statues, the Women’s March, and the Black Lives Matter movement all contributed to this shift in focus. While personal conversion is vital to change, it is not enough. Addressing systemic injustice requires changes in structures at the level of policy, economics, and worldviews.
A session at the recent ICCR conference included a session from the newly formed Racial Justice Investing group. Pat Tomaino of Zevin Asset Management chaired the session. We also heard from Lisa Hayles of Boston Common Asset Management, Susan Baker of Trillium Asset Management, and Mari Schwartzer of NorthStar Asset Management. Hayles spoke of The 30% Coalition (that corporate boardrooms reflect the gender, racial and ethnic diversity of the United States workforce). Susan Baker discussed workforce diversity and the case for pressing companies to make the composition of the workforce transparent. Schwartzer voiced concerns about prison labor (NPR reported on some of the issues). Finally, Tomaino addressed diversity and inclusion, especially within the tech workforce.
The Racial Justice Investing group has monthly/semi-monthly calls and has a webpage within ICCR’s member area where SGI members can sign up to participate and to receive regular updates. Previously, the group drafted a Mission Statement:
Racial Justice Investing is a group of socially responsible investors and others in the business community who are taking action for racial justice within our own organizations, as well as in our engagements with portfolio companies.