Churches Moving Money Out Of Big Banks In Protest Of Foreclosure Actions
For lent this year, some will inevitably give up the usual guilty pleasures like chocolate or meat. More than a few churches are taking a decidedly different approach.
About 25 churches have withdrawn $16 million from big banks such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase as part of a Lent-themed protest against the banks’ foreclosure actions, The New York Times reports, citing PICO National Network, a social justice coalition of churches that’s leading the charge. Individual members and organizational partners have also taken out an additional $15 million. Continue reading
City Of Berkeley Plans To Pull $300M Out Of Wells Fargo
by Beth Buczynski | February 2, 2012 | Care2
In what may be the most damaging blow to Big Banks since the overwhelming success of Bank Transfer Day in late 2011, the City of Berkeley recently announced its intention to withdraw all financial assets from Wells Fargo.
On Tuesday night, the City Council voted unanimously to find a more socially-minded institution to hold approximately $300 million in city assets. Council members said that they hoped the decision would send a very strong message to the Big Banks ultimately responsible for the housing crisis that sent the economy spiraling. Continue reading
Why the United Methodist Church Divested from Private Prisons
By Bill Medford| January 11, 2012 | ACLU Blog
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, considered caring for those imprisoned to be one of the highest priorities in his ministry. That legacy has been carried forward by the many passionate United Methodists today who are committed to ministries of healing and restoration for the millions impacted by the U.S. criminal justice system. Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 6, 2012
United Methodist Church Divests from CCA and GEO
The Pension Board of the United Methodist Church announced on January 3, 2012 that it has divested all of its Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Group holdings. The Church’s General Board of Pension and Health Benefits is the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States and ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country.
“It is immoral to profit from putting families into cages for deportation. Institutions like the UMC are courageously paving the road for others to follow. All public and private institutions should follow the UMC’s example and divest their pensions, bank accounts, and urge local governments to divest as well. We need to tell our financial institutions to invest in healthcare and education rather than the abusive for-profit industry.” said Peter Cervantes-Gautschi, Executive Director of Enlace. Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Jan. 5, 2012)
Social justice agency salutes pension fund for divesting from private-prison investments
Urges other organizations of conscience to do likewise and send a message condemning mass incarceration for profit.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) salutes the recent announcement of the denomination’s pension fund divestment from private-prison corporations and the establishment of a permanent screen on such investments. The agency also issued a call for all organizations and institutions of conscience to divest from the private-prison industry.
GBCS applauds the decision of the United Methodist General Board of Pension & Health Benefits (GBPHB) to divest from two of the largest private, for-profit prison entities: Corrections Corp. of America (CCA) and GEO Group. Continue reading
Board screens out private-prison investments
A UMNS Report | By Heather Hahn | January 5, 2012
Angela Moyo protests outside the Nashville, Tenn., headquarters of Corrections Corporation of America on Nov. 14. UMNS photos by Kathleen Barry.
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Private prison companies are big business. But, is it moral for United Methodists to make a profit from the incarceration of people?
The United Methodist Church’s pension agency has pondered that question since May. The Board of Pension and Health Benefits announced Jan. 3 its decision to prohibit investments in companies that derive more than 10 percent of their revenue from the management and operation of prison facilities.
“It came down to that profiting from the incarceration of others was just not consistent with our view of what the (denomination’s) Social Principles ask for,” said David Zellner, the board’s chief investment officer. Continue reading
For Immediate Release January 3, 2012
GBPHB Board Approves Private Prison Investment Screen
Glenview, IL—The board of directors of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church (GBPHB) today announced the decision by the board’s Fiduciary and Executive Committees of the addition of a sixth investment screen that would prohibit investment in companies that derive more than 10% of revenue from the management and operation of prison facilities. The GBPHB Statement of Administrative Investment Policy has been amended to include this screen.
The Interagency Task Force on Immigration brought the issue of private or for-profit prisons to the attention of GBPHB. The board of directors’ UMC Principles Committee engaged in extensive discussion earlier in 2011 regarding GBPHB investments in companies that operate prison facilities. In November, the committee recommended and referred a resolution to the Fiduciary Committee of the board to amend the Statement of Administrative Investment Policy, which governs the administration of the GBPHB’s investment program. The committees recommended that companies that derive more than 10% of revenue from managing and/or operating prison facilities be screened out of the investment portfolio. Continue reading
United Methodists Against Unjust Investment
Jesus so identified with those in prison that he told his followers that to visit someone in prison is to visit him. The prophet, Amos, thundered against the people of God for dehumanizing the poor and vulnerable to the extent that they sold the poor for a pair of sandals. John Wesley both highly valued ministry to the imprisoned and spoke out against making profits from the mistreatment of the poor.
Followers of Jesus are called to care for the vulnerable in society and not profit from their marginalization. In contradiction to this call, the United Methodist Church currently owns stock in two companies, GEO Group (formerly known as Wackenhut Corrections Corporation) and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), whose sole business is to profit from the incarceration of individuals.
The Move Your Money project is a nonprofit campaign that encourages individuals and institutions to divest from the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions. Little has changed to prevent another financial crisis or to end ‘Too Big To Fail,’ and with Congress unwilling to act, we are encouraging individuals to take power into their own hands by voting with their dollars and no longer contributing to a financial system that has led our country astray. We are a campaign that gives people real, concrete actions they can take to create a more sane, stable and localized banking system.
Image via Minnesota Public Radio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 26, 2011
ACKMAN COMMENDED FOR DIVESTING CCA STOCK
On behalf of the Prison Divestment Campaign Enlace commends renowned hedge fund manager, Bill Ackman, for divesting Pershing Square Capital Management’s holdings in Corrections Corporation (CCA) of America, the nation’s largest private prison company.
Mr. Ackman and CCA filed a joint statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 16, 2011 confirming that Pershing Square no longer holds stock in CCA. Pershing Square Capital Management divested over 7 million shares in CCA, causing CCA stock value to drop 10%! Continue reading