Like many of you, we at United Church Funds are deeply concerned about what is happening throughout our nation. We recognize that protests and social unrest are not the problem; they are merely the outgrowth or expression of outrage that has simmered for generations, boiling over occasionally at critical moments, but now exploding with unbridled fury over the injustices directed at black and brown Americans.
The most recent examples of egregious acts of violence inflicted upon George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are just a few of the names in an endless litany of loved ones who have been unjustly robbed of their lives and liberty due to a deeply embedded and systemic racism.
Exacerbated by the loss of jobs, homes, businesses and even lives due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, experienced disproportionately by black Americans, the situation at hand is dire. People are desperate. And the overwhelming cries of protest have been inevitable.
It is not business as usual. It is time to address – finally – the sins and wrongs of our nation.
But we believe that the solution cannot be violence – neither looting in the streets nor threats of military force to subdue civil unrest.
The solution is to rebuild, to overhaul our nation from the bottom up and inside out. Together we need to re-create a society that embraces the gifts of full diversity, an economy that provides for the well-being of all and a legal system that protects the constitutional right of life and liberty for every person, regardless of color, origin, or sexual/gender orientation and expression.
This means utilizing our God-given gifts, resources and tools. At United Church Funds, we are recommitting to using the proven and powerful strategy of responsible investing: investing to make a difference. We are pledging to increase our efforts in ensuring that your investments make a positive impact on people and their livelihoods, our communities and nations, and the climate and the earth. We will continue to engage corporate managements in their environmental, social and governance (ESG) failings and responsibilities. And we will press for policies and laws that promote full accountability, open and sustainable markets and social responsibility.
We know it won’t be easy to upturn generations of entrenched attitudes, systems and oppression. But we believe this is the time to make the hard choices and commit to the hard work. That’s the choice we’re making at UCF, and we commit to working in partnership with you to make that happen.