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  Sister Carol Coston, OP and Sister Corinne Florek, OP network with other members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)


    
  Sisters Pat Siemen, OP; Annette Sinagra, OP; Julianne Flynn, OP; Amata Miller, IHM; Marie Michael, OP and Maureen Fenlon, OP attend a presentation of
“Your Money Your Mission”

 



History of the
Adrian Dominican Sisters’
Socially Responsible Investments

During the early 1970s, the Adrian Dominican Congregation realized the need to address the financial responsibility for long-term care for its members and began corporate investing. The idea of corporate investing brings with it all the questions associated with money and mission. In 1974 the Sisters institutionalized their commitment to socially responsible investing by dedicating resources to an office focused solely on SRI. The Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) was appointed to guide this process.

Corporate Responsibility
In the early years of their corporate activities the Adrian Dominicans took a public stance by divesting in South Africa and spoke out against sweatshops and poor working conditions. They began to work in collaboration with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). This collaboration enables them to act on a much broader base of issues than one group could engage in alone, given the pooled resources of the many in membership.

Founded in 1971, this diverse group of religious investors is now a membership coalition of over 300 Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Jewish institutional investors with the combined membership representing well over $110 billion in investments. In the 2012-2013 shareholder season, ICCR members, associates, and affiliates sponsored over 180 shareholder resolutions on social and environmental issues and held 225 corporate dialogues.

Shareholders address corporate management by way of letter writing, dialogues, shareholder proposals, proxy voting, and in some situations ­–such as the move to dismantle Apartheid in South Africa divestment.
 

Coca-Cola boycott and divestment of stock
    
  Sister Carol Coston, OP gives an address at the Kennametal Annual Shareholder Meeting,
October, 1988

 

 











Community Investment

The economy must work to service all members of a community, including the most vulnerable. The mainstream financial focus on short-term returns undermines the ability to include the most vulnerable. The challenge is to offer an alternative to this commodity-driven economy and to continue to engage in partnerships that realize the vision of sustainable communities based on principles of collaboration and human dignity.

In 1978, the second SRI component of the PAB, alternative or community investments, was instituted. These community-lending activities create economic partnerships with community-based organizations, to provide disadvantaged populations with opportunities to become self-determining, and to improve their communities, and to build an economy of solidarity. This prophetic role does not involve charity or gifts, but repayable loans, which translates to ownership for individuals and families. The lending process and partnerships are social, environmental and financial.

Since 1978, the PAB has made 448 community investments totaling nearly $22 million, which help low-income people to become self-determining and to improve their communities. Today, the Adrian Dominican Sisters loan fund has over $5.1 million actively financing community (re)investment projects and programs in poor rural areas, small communities, and inner cities. 

Sister Corinne Florek, OP, gives a presentation
during a bus trip
Congregation members’ on-site visits were coordinated by the PAB in 1992 to educate the sisters about loan groups



















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