DIVEST: Reject the UNETHICAL PRACTICES OF YOUR BANK
→ Research your investments
Knowing what you own is the first step to aligning your investments with your values. You may be invested in state violence through companies involved in mass incarceration, immigrant detention and surveillance, military occupation, or the border industry. Check out the great resources below from INVESTIGATE AFSC to learn more about where you may be invested.
INVESTIGATE: What are you invested in? This database includes original research and lists over 150 company and industry profiles. Learn how companies profit from and support state violence. Then use this knowledge to create change.
Webinar: Investigate the Prison Industry This webinar presents research mapping the U.S. prison industry and shows how to use the Investigate tool to measure your "Prison Footprint."
→ Ensure that your pension fund is ethical
RETIREMENT FUNDS: “Why would building a retirement nest egg possibly harm others?” Well, for most people the starting place to invest is in the stock market — and when you look at the S&P 500 (a list of the largest publicly held companies), those are often the same companies who are destroying the environment, paying workers poverty wages, and otherwise implicated in human rights abuses. Or, you may have a SEP IRA or Roth IRA held at a big-name bank — the majority of which have been implicated in financing the private prisons that are profiting from family detention.”
How To Retire In Style And Build A Real Legacy by Morgan Simon for Forbes
PENSION FUNDS: While the above link provides more detailed information about ethical retirement funds, if you have a pension from your employer, the easiest thing to do is talk to your HR representative to see if you have retirement holdings in BlackRock, Vanguard or other major private prison investors. If so, ask your institution to offer a socially responsible alternative.
→ HOLD your bank ACCOUNTABLE
Wells Fargo — the official bank of the State of New Mexico and the City of Santa Fe — is one of the foremost financial supporters of the Private Prison Industry, holding a huge number of shares in both CoreCivic and Geo Company, as well as underwriting loans for these companies. On March 12, 2019, under pressure from activists, they announced that they will be exiting their relationships with private prison financing. NOW IS THE TIME TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. We have to keep the pressure up to make sure that they not only stop underwriting loans to CoreCivic and GeoGoup, but that they also divest from stock holdings in these companies.
Write a letter to your local Wells Fargo bank urging them to Break Up with Private Prisons. If you are a Wells Fargo customer, you can let them know that if they don’t, you will break up with them.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: How To Leave Your Big Name Bank by Morgan Simon for Forbes
How to Break Up with Your Bank (2 minute video)
→ IF YOU ARE A NEW MEXICO EDUCATOR
Check out this toolkit to learn about the process for working with your Union to help the Board divest.