Churches Moving Money Out Of Big Banks

Churches Moving Money Out Of Big Banks In Protest Of Foreclosure Actions

Churches Big BanksBy  | 03/12/2012 | The Huffington Post

Ryan J. Bell’s church is moving its money from Bank of America as part of a larger Lent-themed protest.

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About 25 churches have withdrawn $16 million from big banks such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase as part of a Lent-themed protest against the banks’ foreclosure actions, The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

City Of Berkeley Plans To Pull $300M Out Of Wells Fargo

by  | 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

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

United Methodist Church Divests from CCA and GEO

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

United Methodist Church Divests from Private Prisons!

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

United Methodist Church Pension Board screens out private-prison investments

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.
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

United Methodist Church pension plan locks out prison-related investments

United Methodist Church pension plan locks out prison-related investments

By Barry B Burr | Pensions & Investments | January 4th, 2012

General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church, Glenview, Ill., banned investment in companies involved in private prisons.

The board, which oversees the $16.7 billion pension fund, adopted a policy to screen out companies that “derive more than 10% of revenue from the management and operation of prison facilities,” including jails, penitentiaries, detention centers, prison camps and transfer centers at the federal, state, county or municipal level, the statement said. Continue reading