US SIF is Proud to Sign the “Investor Statement of Solidarity to Address Systemic Racism and Call to Action”

The “Statement of Solidarity” calls for accountability and action from the investment community to dismantle systemic racism and promote racial equity and justice.
US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is proud to endorse the “Investor Statement of Solidarity to Address Systemic Racism and Call to Action” alongside over 120 investors and organizations. The “Statement of Solidarity” calls for accountability and action from the investment community to dismantle systemic racism and promote racial equity and justice. US SIF contributed to the drafting of the statement, which was organized by the Racial Justice Investing (RJI) Coalition. We encourage other institutions to join us and endorse the statement, which remains open for signature.  
The “Statement of Solidarity” is copied here, and the list of endorsers can be found in the online page:

Investor Statement of Solidarity to Address
Systemic Racism and Call to Action

We are long-term investors and financial service providers who commit to action and accountability to achieve racial equity. 

The recent murders by police of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, the ongoing police brutality in communities of color, and the inequalities illustrated by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have left the United States reeling as a nation and mobilizing protests across the globe. The need to address the realities of police brutality and the pervasive scourge of racism in America has never been more clear. 

As investors, we stand in solidarity with protesters and call for the dismantling of systemic racism and recognize our responsibility to act.

We recognize that the investor community has contributed to and benefited from racist systems and the entrenchment of white supremacy. We therefore take responsibility and commit to hold ourselves accountable for dismantling systemic racism and promoting racial equity and justice through our investments and work. 

We acknowledge the deep roots of structural racial inequity. Since its founding, the United States' society and economy have been rooted in racist beliefs and systems designed to extract wealth and maintain the power of a white elite.  

We denounce the racist tactics and brutality deployed by law enforcement and the criminalization, policing, and incarceration of Black men, women, and children, and other people of color in the United States. We recognize that these systems are rooted in racial oppression and serve to perpetuate the racialized criminalization of poverty. 

We denounce the militarization of police and the anti-democratic response to protests, which interfere with the right to peaceful assembly and only escalates conflict, sowing division and chaos.

As a community of investors, we embrace and commit to the following 5 Calls to Action: 

1. Commit to actively engage with, amplify, and include Black voices in investor spaces and company engagements, taking direction and guidance from their expertise and lived experience, including on issues related to criminalization. 

2. Commit to embed a racial equity and justice lens into our own organizations. This may include: ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring, promotion, and compensation at all levels; engaging with stakeholders of color to inform our work; hiring financial managers and consultants of color; and ending business relationships with entities that further white supremacy.

3. Commit to integrating racial justice into investment decision-making and engagement strategies. At the institutional level, commit to reviewing investment policies, due diligence, and risk management or controversy flags to investigate whether they adequately and explicitly integrate systemic racism concerns and update as necessary. Review portfolio holdings across asset classes to identify investments that reinforce systemic racism. Establish time bound goals to either engage with or divest from companies/issuers with practices or business relationships that further systemic racism or white supremacy, or that enable state violence and criminalization. Direct specific attention to those connected to the prison, military, and immigration industrial complex, including technology, communications, services, and financial sectors, and those that are complicit in state violence.

4. Reinvest in communities. Commit to reinvestment in community-driven alternatives to policing and safety. Make investments in Community Development Financial Institutions, affordable housing, Black-led community development projects, and financing Black entrepreneurs, cooperatives, community land trusts. Make investments in other old and new vehicles to support Black employment, ownership and wealth creation, and community-driven alternatives to policing and incarceration. We commit to promote the goals of communities of color, as determined by those communities, ensuring the benefit of investments are retained by those communities through scaling-up capacities, skills, networks, and resources to facilitate growth in circuits of capital. Seek investments that address structural race gaps in wealth and minimize capital “leakages” by procuring supplies from Black-owned businesses, creating employment for Black people, and reinvesting proceeds in Black communities.

5. Use investor voice to advance anti-racist public policy. Through investor statements, public comments, and collective action, advocate for policies that seek to reform and eliminate systemic racism in law and public policy as well as private ordering. These efforts may span Covid-19 relief package priorities, budget allocation processes, financial and tax policy, as well as policies related to housing, education, voting, criminal justice, corporate regulation, lobbying and campaign finance, public services, environmental health and safety, labor, immigration, political representation, infrastructure investments, research and development, and much more. We will proactively seek to understand and address public and private policies that discriminate against and disadvantage communities of color and advocate to scale-up programs and investments that close historical racial gaps in income, wealth, employment, political representation, access to housing, education and finance, longevity and health and safety.