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Showing posts from May, 2021

The 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Grace Pottebaum, Impact Investing Intern, Garrett Evangelical-Theological Seminary

The end of May, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. On May 31st and June 1st, 1921, the Greenwood district of Tulsa experienced what remains known as the worst incident of racial violence in U.S history.  A predominantly black neighborhood, the Greenwood District, also known as Black Wall Street, was the center for many thriving black business owners and prosperity of black wealth. The massacre took place after tensions in the city rose following an incident in an elevator  involving a young black man, Dick Rowland, and a young white woman, Sarah Page. The following day Rowland was arrested, and a white mob converged on the Greenwood District.  This historic event is personal to me as I am a white student who grew up in the public-school systems of Tulsa. I was never taught the history of my city. It was introduced to me after I moved away from Tulsa. It was a new history teacher who finally taught my class the Tulsa Race Riots while I was in high school

Some Companies Have Done Better Than Others Keeping Racial Justice Pledges by Detroit Today - May 28, 2021

"Last year, after the murder of George Floyd, 251 American companies vowed to combat systemic racism within their own organizations. In aggregate, these companies pledged $65 billion to bolster their diversity and equity initiatives. One year later, economist William Michael Cunningham says only $500 million has been allocated toward these efforts. 'We know American corporations can move if they want to … there’s a lot of expertise in communities of color that could help these companies make these changes … the impetus for making these kinds of rapid changes has definitely declined.' —William Michael Cunningham, Creative Investment Research Cunningham explains that American companies have the resources to honor these pledges, but he says structural and cultural problems, as well as a lack of accountability, are hindering their ability to follow through on their promises." Economist William Michael Cunningham on the impact of racial justice pledges. Listen:  Checking I

Black Lives Matter Pledges: Where are we now?

According to our BLM Tracker, American corporations have pledged $60 billion in memory of George Floyd, mainly to support Black businesses and communities. One year later, we can only identify roughly $250 million in actual dollars spent.  Also see: Request the Commission develop mandatory rules for public companies to disclose high-quality, comparable, decision-useful information concerning BLM Pledge fulfillment. BLACK LIVES MATTER: CORPORATE AMERICA HAS PLEDGED $1.678 BILLION SO FAR. June 10, 2020. Valuable Changemaking for Remote Washington Semester Program Interns. Six Companies Account for 70% of Corporate Black Lives Matter Pledges. $50 Billion And A Year Later The World Still Searches For Accountability After George Floyd’s Death. ht

“Investing Inclusively: Building Shareholder Value Through Gender Diversity.” Review by Alice Gabidoulline, Impact Investing Intern, University of Michigan.

Maggie Walker.  In 1903, Maggie L. Walker became both the first African American woman to charter a bank, and the first African American woman to serve as a bank president. On March 25, 2021, BrightTALK hosted Morningstar’s Amelia Furr—Head of Index Sales, and Equileap’s Diana van Maasdijk—co-founder and CEO. Their presentations focused on “Investing Inclusively: Building Shareholder Value Through Gender Diversity.”  Ms. van Maasdijk began by providing an overview of Equileap, an ESG data provider focusing solely on gender. Equileap’s mission is to close the equality gap in the workplace, with the added value of being the largest global database on gender equality. The Equileap  database covers 4,000+ mid to large-cap companies in 23 developed economies. Equileap’s scorecard includes 19+ criteria (gender pay gap, parental leave, supplier diversity, etc.) in four categories—A through D. An annual report outlines the top performing companies. This year, top performance only required a sc

MAY 24, 2021 Have businesses kept their promises for racial justice? NPR Marketplace. Alice Gabidoulline, Impact Investing Intern, University of Michigan.

On NPR's Marketplace program  broadcast May 24th, 2021, Kristen Schwab interviewed Mr. William Michael Cunningham, CEO of Creative Investment Research, and Ms. Gita Rao, who teaches social-impact investing at MIT. They spoke about the current state of corporate diversity pledges, especially remembering the murder and legacy of George Floyd one year ago tomorrow.  Mr. Cunningham stated the need for an independent trust to create accountability for corporate pledges. While corporations pledged $55 billion to-date, the amount spent has only reached $250 million. Ms. Rao further noted that corporations should have a standardization of disclosure with regards to reporting diversity practices.  As the landscape of corporate political and social involvement evolves, Mr. Cunningham and Ms. Rao highlight the increasing need for a framework of accountability in this space. 

Review of "In Pursuit of Happiness: A Live Virtual Event" by Grace Pottebaum, Impact Investing Intern, Garrett Evangelical-Theological Seminary

  Atlantic Magazine recently hosted " In Pursuit of Happiness: A Live Virtual Event ” , which explored the question: what does it take to be happy? Professionals from several fields provided innovative research that seeks contemporary answers to this question. The speakers for this event included Arthur C. Brooks, Deepak Chopra, Angela Duckworth, and many more. My analysis of the pursuit of happiness focuses on the final session, a discussion between Arthur Brooks, and Deepak Chopra.  How do we measure and define happiness? Author and medicine advocate, Deepak Chopra, provides a detailed model that quantifies internal and external factors that commonly influence an individual’s pursuit of happiness. For example, Chopra states that joy is our innate state when we exist without resistance. Therefore, when we pursue happiness, Chopra argues that you are resisting the stress and struggle of existence in order to claim a spontaneous state of joy. External forces that inhibit one’s abi

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