[Sri-news] Winter Issue
SLeslie at uua.org
Wed Jan 12 18:34:56 EST 2005
Dear SRI-News Subscribers:
Happy new year to all of you. We are looking forward to another year
of continued growth and participation of UUs and UU congregations in SRI
In this issue you will find information on:
(1) New UUA SRI Retirement Fund Options
(2) Big Increase of UU Congregations & Community Investing with UUA
(3) Corporations Adopt Non-Discrimination Policy to Include Sexual
(4) SRI Workshop at the UU Large Church Conference in Boston on Feb.
(5) One Congregation's SRI Story: All Souls, Kansas City, MO
(6) SRI in the Rockies - An SRI Committee Member's Report
Please send us reports about what your congregation is doing and we will
include it in SRI News and on our website. Write to sleslie at uua.org.
Special Note to Readers:
The UUA & the UUSC (UU Service Committee) have joined forces to raise
funds for the tsunami disaster relief. As of today over $400,000 has
been raised and we expect to raise $1 million. For more information,
see www.uua.org <http://www.uua.org/> and www.uusc.org
1) The UUA now has eight SRI fund retirement fund options to choose from
six different mutual fund companies that span the investment categories
- bond fund, balanced fund, domestic equity - large blend, domestic
equity - large growth, domestic equity - mid blend, domestic equity -
small blend, and international/global. See
a description of the funds and who qualifies.
2) Good News: Whopping Increase in Congregational Community Investment
By Joan Cudhea, CSRI Chair
Twenty-six UU congregations have now invested in eight Community
Development Loan Funds (CDLF), and the UUA has matched these
investments, thereby doubling their beneficial economic impact in
marginalized communities. As recently as last summer, only 18 UU
congregations had invested in CDLF. These 8 new congregations in the
Community Match program represent a whopping 44% increase in just six
The total amount that UUA now has invested through the Congregational
Match Program is $236,245. The average match per congregation is $9,086.
The range is from the minimum $2,000 to the maximum $10,000. [We know
that some congregations have invested more than $10,000 in Community;
but the limit on a UUA equal investment is $10,000.] Just last summer,
the total amount in the Match Program was $214,245. In dollar terms,
then, the increase of $22,000 represents a 10.3 % growth, still
impressive for just six months.
Which is the most common investment? No surprise - The Unitarian
Universalist Affordable Housing Corporation (UUAHC), headquartered in
Silver Spring MD, and founded by UUs in 1989. Sixteen of the 26
congregations hold UUAHC notes, earning interest for their
congregations. Mark Knight, Executive Director, has had a Booth at GA
and presented workshops for many years, and so it is the only Community
Development Loan Fund (CDLF) that many UUs have ever heard of.
Other congregations have found local or regionally based CDLFs to invest
in: a few examples are the Boston Community Loan Fund, New Hampshire
Community Loan Fund, and The Reinvestment Fund (Pennsylvania).
If your congregation is not one of the 26 congregations listed below,
please do what you can to inspire your congregation's Treasurer or other
decision-makers to make at least a small ($2,000) investment in
community. The goal of the UUA Board and of the Committee on Socially
Responsible Investing is that 75% of UUA's Community Investments match
congregational investments. The total now is 15% of the $1.59 million
that UUA now has invested in loans to community banks, community credit
unions, and loan funds. Thus, while we report here the recent good news,
you can see that we have a long way to go before we reach that 75% goal.
Seventy-five percent would be $1.19 million. At the average investment
of about $9,000, we need at least 131 more congregations to invest in
How do you do this? Go to our website www.uua.org/finance/sri, and click
on Community Investing. Lots more information is at www.socialinvest.org
<http://www.socialinvest.org/> . If you still have questions, please
e-mail Joan Cudhea (jcudhea at earthlink.net), Chair of CSRI. Joan can
describe how the proposal and decision-making process is going on at her
congregation in San Diego this very month.
If you would like future SRI-News articles to feature individual
congregations or specific community investing opportunities, please let
us know. Or, perhaps you would like us to tell about the Community
Development Loan Funds and Micro-credit funds that UUA has chosen to
invest in while we wait for congregations to apply for matches in the
community banks, credit unions or loan funds that they have chosen.
Congregations now invested in community:
Weston, Winchester, Westwood, and Duxbury in Massachusetts; Albany NY;
Pittsburgh and Germantown PA; St. John's Cincinnati OH; Concord NH;
Burlington VT; All Souls Washington DC; Princeton NJ, Arlington and
Reston VA; Community Church and Brooklyn NY; Neighborhood in Pasadena
and San Francisco CA; and several in MD - Paint Branch in Adelphi, River
Road and Cedar Lane in Bethesda; Baltimore, Rockville, Annapolis, Davies
Memorial in Camp Springs, and Towson.
In addition, the Quincy MA congregation has invested $100,000 in the
Greater Boston Interfaith Alliance (to support Nehemiah Homes affordable
housing, and UUA has matched this large $100,000 investment. We call
this match the UUA President's Advocacy match, as it exceeds the normal
$10,000 limit on a congregational match. The Quincy investment is a
special story in itself, involving the discovery and sale of Paul Revere
3) ALLTEL and CARLISLE, INC. Adopt Non-Discrimination Policies to
Include Sexual Orientation
>From Jim Gunning, CSRI Shareholder Advocacy Working Group Chair
ALLTEL has changed their non-discrimination policy to include sexual
orientation. You can see the new, improved, inclusive policy at
Sometimes it takes a while, but persistence pays off.
The UUA has been part of this process for several years, and have
presented this resolution at their annual meeting in conjunction with
the New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS) filing of the
resolution, and with the UU Service Committee's co-filing.
Congratulations to all and a special thanks to the UU Congregation of
Little Rock for recruiting congregants to be presenters at ALLTEL's
annual shareholder meeting.
CARLISLE ADOPTS NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Another company, Carlisle, Inc., a diversified global manufacturing
company, has changed their non-discrimination policy to include sexual
orientation, rather than have a resolution on the subject on their
annual meeting agenda. The announcement comes from Walden Asset
Management which was the primary filer (see below).
As a result of this year's resolution (which will now be withdrawn),
Carlisle has changed its non-discrimination policy to include sexual
orientation. They posted the new policy today at
The Code of Ethics of Carlisle Inc. is included in the link above. The
particular section on non-discrimination is Paragraph A (3).
The UUA has written to all the corporations in our portfolio urging them
to adopt non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation,
gender identity, and domestic partner benefits. See
06-8-04.pdf for a copy of the letter.
4) SRI Workshop at UUA Large Church Conference--Congregations in Good
The Committee on Socially Responsible Investing will be presenting a
workshop on Saturday, Feb. 20th from 4:00-5:30 p.m. entitled:
Values Investing for Your Congregation: Socially Responsible Investing
for Your Congregation's Heart, Mind, and Pocketbook
Managing our congregations' investments does not have to be a mysterious
process that is difficult to align with our UU principles and values.
Learn more about how Socially Responsible Investing can work for your
congregation. We will focus on debunking the myths, overcoming barriers,
setting values-based priorities and creating an action plan for your
congregation to be better able to walk the talk. Topics covered will
include socially responsible investing, social mutual funds, voting
shareholder proxies, shareholder advocacy, and community investing.
Information about pooling with the UUA General Investment Fund and the
UUA Matching Program for Community Investments (from $2,000 up to
$10,000) will be provided. See
http://www.uua.org/cde/largechurch2005/saturday.html for other Saturday
The Committee will also be available for consultation for individual
congregations throughout the conference. Write to Audra Friend at
afriend at uua.org to set up an appointment.
The conference will be held from Feb. 17-20 at the Sheraton Hotel in
downtown Boston. See http://www.uua.org/cde/largechurch2005/ for more
information about the entire conference, registration, and directions.
5) Regular Feature - One Congregation's SRI Story
All Souls, Kansas City
>From Jean MacCormick, Treasurer
We were looking to make an investment change, so we considered at a
number of firms, trying to balance out rate of return with social
issues. When we didn't see much difference on monetary issues, it became
easier to reflect our values as a congregation. MORE>>
6) Rocky Mountain High, 2004: SRI in the Rockies Conference
By Tim Blackwood
In October 2004 I attended my first SRI in the Rockies conference which
this year was held in Keystone, Colorado. The theme of this 15th annual
conference was "Responsible Investing: Making Markets Work for People".
Keystone is at 9000 feet and I immediately felt the effects of that high
altitude. The property management folks emphasized that we should drink
lots of water, go easy on the ethanol, and pop a couple of aspirins at
bedtime our first night there. We had warm days, cold nights, and clear
skies for our four days there.
As was recommended by the program people, on Thursday I attended the New
Participant Orientation. This was somewhat helpful in deciding among
the myriad number of sessions offered over three days. For example,
three or more times a day an attendee could choose among four different
Out of the five sessions available on Thursday at 3:30 PM, I choose Mel
Miller's "Economic Forecast" session. He is a good speaker who
presented his material clearly. He was basically optimistic for the
balance of 2004 and into 2005. Go to www.sriintherockies.com
<http://www.sriintherockies.com/> to see the complete agenda.
This web site will also enable you to see the presentation materials of
some of the speakers and will tell you how to purchase CD's of any of
After meeting some nice folks out of the more than 460 registrants at
the networking reception we had a sumptuous dinner sponsored by the
Sierra Club Mutual Funds. All of the meals were buffet style and most
were sponsored by various investment companies.
David Bornstein author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs
and the Power of New Ideas was Thor's Day's post-prandial speaker. His
presentation, "Social Change Leadership: The Power of New Ideas" told in
an inspiring way the stories of entrepreneurial success leading to
positive social change in a variety of countries around the world.
The first Friday AM presenters were Gil Friend and Bill Reed who spoke
on "Sustainability, Risk Management and Fiduciary Responsibility: Why
"Less Bad" Isn't Good Enough and What We Can Do About It" (CD).
Piecemeal thinking and the traditional one-problem-at-a-time, damn the
externalities approach cannot effectively deal with an increasingly
interconnected global economy and the always interconnected living
systems that support it.
Next up for me were presentations by four Native American women jointly
titled "Indigenous People and Socially Conscious Investors: Models for
Collaboration." One of the speakers spoke informatively about
Indian-U.S. Government history. Another spoke passionately against
improper use of Indian symbols or language, e.g. the use of an Indian
(Chief Illiniwek) as a football mascot. She, like I, attended
University of Illinois where Chief Illiniwek reigns over sporting
events. Kim Langebecker, Project Director of Indigenous Land Rights
Fund, spoke movingly about the loss of land by the Bush people in
After lunch I attended the Social Investment Forum Annual Meeting in
order to learn more about this organization. The SIF is one of the
partners for the Rockies conferences. Too much "code" talk drove me
away: IFC, G3, 16K letters to SEC. But I did learn that their new goal
for the 1% community investing campaign is $500 million in 2005.
The event organizers usually allow a large break time in afternoon but
on this Friday they moved the evening programs to that time slot so that
attendees could watch the Presidential debates on a large screen
television set up in one of conference rooms.
Because of the cheering, jeering, and alls, watching the debate felt
more like attending an athletic event. Clearly the majority of those
present were pro-Kerry. For a person of my persuasion it was great fun.
In the late afternoon I attended "Benchmarking an Environmentally
Responsible Investment Portfolio" by Roger Edelen, PhD., who is a
professor at Wharton and also works for Sierra Club Mutual Funds. His
Power Point Presentation is on-line. His sophisticated analysis
purported to demonstrate a new technique for capturing returns to
under-represented sectors while adhering to restrictive criteria.
Saturday at 8 AM started with a bang with Jed Emerson's
energetic presentation of "Money and Mission: Breaking Down the
Firewalls" (CD). In this session he explored how the intersection of
economic, social and environmental concerns creates value for investors.
He used his pioneering work on the Blended Value Proposition to present
the concept of combining social concerns with financial returns for a
more sustainable total return.
Next on deck was Jane Nelson, Senior Fellow, Kennedy School of
Government, Harvard. She discussed corporate initiatives that
successfully balance financial, social, environmental, and ethical
considerations. She motivated me to try to read her book, Profits with
Hazel Henderson, a syndicated columnist, and Frank Dixon, Managing
Director of Innovest Strategic Value Investors, came up to the podium to
discuss a practical, profit enhancing roadmap for how investors and
businesses can work to remove barriers to sustainability and create
incentives for responsible corporate behavior. Their talks were
entitled "Adapting to the Age of Truth: Addressing Systemic Barriers to
Well it was only 10:30 AM and my head was spinning from all this input,
so I shopped a bit at most of the next five breakout sessions on the
menu. I landed in "Community Investing: Making the Grade in a Managed
Portfolio". Presenters were from a Methodist pension board, Heron
Foundation, Trillium Asset Management, and Christian Brothers Investment
Services. They made me feel more comfortable in investing my own funds
in this sector.
Finally, it was lunch time where we were invited to choose from the
different topics offered for discussion at each of the tables. There
were topics on a whole host of subjects connected with SRI. I chose
Race/Ethnic Issues almost by default as all the other tables were
rapidly filling up and I am glad I did. Rev. Dr. Dorothy Emerson, a UUA
field minister from Massachusetts who I had met early on in the
conference, was at the table as was Susan Leslie, UUA-CSRI staff
liaison. Happily Dorothy became our leader and reporter. She said she
had been in attendance at the Race table for five years and this was the
first year the table was full. The group came up with a number of good
suggestions from including the topic of race in presentations at the
conference to increasing the number of folks of color in attendance, all
of which Dorothy will pass onto the Rockies organizers.
Unfortunately I missed the presentation by The Nation's William Greider
on late Saturday afternoon because I was on the sponsored (i.e. free)
wagon ride. As penance, I promise to listen to the CD and to read his
recent book, The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy.
I returned to the conference rooms at 6:15 for an hour dominated by
people from Domini Social Investments. First, Amy Domini, the founder
and CEO of said company, shared her outlook on the economic and
political landscape, and on the threats and opportunities that confront
the SRI field over the months and years ahead. Following her was
Kimberly Gladman of DSI who spoke passionately about her battle with the
American owner of a Peruvian lead mine which was poisoning an entire
village. She presented some interesting strategies for handling this
and other knotty problems.
I feel my attendance and hard-work in listening to some conceptually new
and difficult materials was worthwhile. And I did find many there who I
trusted and felt comfortable with. Thus I look forward to attending
again soon for I feel I will have an even more enriching experience than
Look for another issue of SRI-News in the next month or so. Let us know
if you prefer receiving bi-monthly issues like this or if you would
prefer to receive more frequent and shorter e-mails. Write to
afriend at uua.org. Thanks!
Director for Congregational Advocacy and Witness
Unitarian Universalist Association
25 Beacon Street, Boston MA 02108
(617) 948-4607; sleslie at uua.org
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