Racial justice, long a defining social justice issue in the United States, is now more than ever a priority. Fundamental as it is, the struggle for racial justice has so far been limited in its access to certain tools; in particular, it has not always intersected with one of the main drivers of racial injustice: finance.
Yet capital allocation decisions affect racial justice dramatically. They are a root cause that is actionable right now: it is crucial for public and private capital to think about how investment decisions affect communities of color.
But how exactly does race manifest in finance, and how can the effects of capital allocations be shifted to favor racial justice? What can an asset owner committed to racial justice – whether a foundation or a pension fund – do to ensure that its investments are not acting at cross purposes?
Via this project, Transform Finance seeks to contribute to a broader racial justice agenda by exploring how investment decisions play a role in driving race-related outcomes and by informing, organizing, and empowering investors with concrete tools across asset classes.
We aim to spur progress in the following ways:
- By identifying the racial implications of investments and understanding, in particular, non-obvious racialized effects of investment decisions in each asset class
- By providing specific guidance to asset owners on steps to align capital allocations with racial justice values
How you can engage
If you are a racial justice practitioner, we are seeking your input and experiences with how finance intersects with your work. We’re analyzing specific issue areas like work, health, and place as indicators of the racial impacts of investments, and seek to synthesize the first hand knowledge of frontline movement leaders via case studies and broader guidance.
If you are an asset owner, we want to know what your pain points are in your efforts to align your portfolio with racial justice, and how this project could benefit you and your organization in doing so. Through such conversations, we are tailoring our final product to best help you understand the implications of your investments.
Convening for Racial Justice Practitioners
A first convening of racial justice practitioners in New York on July 13, 2017 explored the potential of engaging with asset owners around racial justice, and grounded our work in the broader agenda for racial justice. Read our reflections on the conversation HERE.
As a part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Racial Equity Track, Transform Finance hosted a panel entitled "Looking at Investments from a Racial Equity Perspective." Transform Finance's Andrea Armeni and Morgan Simon were accompanied by Ellis Carr of Capital Impact Partners and Miljana Mujosevic of Prudential to provide an overview of the issues we are tackling in this project. A passionate discussion emerged over ways to look at diversity and inclusion, the business case for racial equity, and unintended ways finance affects outcomes of racial equity.
If you were in attendance at SOCAP, we'd love to hear from you – reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a social justice leader working on racial equity issues? Are you an investor wanting to learn more about how you can apply racial justice to your portfolio? Please reach out to us at email@example.com.
This program is supported by: