As the problems of extractive capitalism have become increasingly evident, the field of responsible investing has grown exponentially over the last several decades. This umbrella term refers to a strategy of incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions. According to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing, this once niche field has grown to $17 trillion and accounts for ⅓ of total US assets under professional management. Despite this apparent progress, the financial system remains fundamentally extractive and continues to reproduce massive inequality and environmental harm. “Greenwashing”–providing a deceptive environmentally friendly spin through marketing tactics or presenting false solutions–has allowed powerful multinational corporations to continue to operate business as usual. The wealthiest 10% control 84% of the money invested on Wall Street, reinforcing existing systems that allow them to keep wealth concentrated. While the top 1% continue to hoard more and more wealth, many ordinary Americans are barely making ends meet or falling deeper and deeper into debt.
Fortunately, a growing community of organizers, researchers, investors, and community members are working to change this. Together, they are growing the field of social justice investing, an investment strategy that is deeply aligned with social justice values; led by social movements and movement actors; builds economic power in Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color; supports community controlled enterprise; offers non-extractive terms; and is accessible to ordinary people. This approach to investing is part of a Just Transition to build a financial system that divests from Wall Street and public markets and invests in solidarity economies, rooted in cooperation, redistribution, and repair.
Please join Just Futures and Justice Funders for a 3-part webinar series as we explore the growing field of social justice investing, hear directly from the powerful leaders working to build and leverage financial strategies for community empowerment, and offer an alternative vision for a financial system that seeks to heal and uplift people and the planet.
Session 1: An Introduction to Social Justice Investing
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
1:00pm ET – 2:30pm ET
Wall Street and the 1% have built an investing infrastructure that allows the rich to get richer through extraction and theft. But a growing number of social movement actors are finding alternative ways, often rooted in cultural traditions of BIPOC communities, to leverage and grow community wealth and economic power through regenerative investing strategies. We call this social justice investing. This webinar will provide an introduction to social justice investing, explain how it’s different from mainstream ESG investing strategies, and provide insight into how one group is implementing it on the ground.
Session 2: Implementing Social Justice Investing: Examples from the Field
Thursday, May 26, 2022
1:00pm ET – 2:30pm ET
While practitioners of social justice investing share core principles like building community economic power, implementation on the ground varies based on local and regional contexts, needs, capacities, and histories. This webinar will provide a closer look at how three different groups are building investment infrastructure that fuels social justice, as well as their challenges, opportunities, and plans for the future.
While opportunities for social justice investing are growing, they are primarily limited to those with accumulated wealth. Just Futures is an exciting new project that hopes to democratize access to social justice investing via retirement savings, while creating a non-extractive investment chain that is owned and governed by social movement actors at every point. This webinar will take an in-depth look at the barriers to making social justice investing accessible, and how Just Futures plans to create a model that does so.