The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), one of the collaborative organizations through which United Church Funds (UCF) carries out shareholder engagements, celebrated its 50th anniversary as a coalition of faith- and values-based investors on March 31.

Although the gala event had been postponed for a year due to COVID, there was no lessened excitement in lifting up and honoring ICCR’s accomplishments over the past 50 years.

UCF and the United Church of Christ (UCC) played prominent roles at the gala. The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries of the UCC, served as one of the keynote speakers and delivered an uplifting message about the importance of quitting.

“Sometimes quitting is the courageous act,” said Rev. Blackmon. “Sometimes the courage that is needed is to stop doing what is expected in order to start doing what is necessary.”

“Over 50 years ago now, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility made a decision to just quit,” she continued.

“It began with the courageous decision to stop funding apartheid in South Africa. But they didn’t stop there. This initial action included a request that not only they not invest, but that General Motors make a concentrated effort and statement against apartheid by also choosing to quit doing business until the oppressive regime changed.”

As part of the program, ICCR recognized and honored the UCC with its Founders’ Award as one of the organizations that co-founded ICCR 50 years ago, planting the seeds that would give rise to the shareholder advocacy movement.

Charles Buck, UCF President & CEO and ICCR Board member, closed the evening with a charge to continue “Keeping the Faith” and to invite like-minded investors to work together to create a more just world.

UCF was proud to be part of this historic celebration. We look forward to continuing our partnership and collaboration with ICCR, and we have doubled our commitment to responsible investing and the pressing need to advance racial, social and climate justice.

Click here to learn more about our approach to responsible investing, and click here to view and download an infographic that shows the evolution of responsible investing in the UCC.