5,000 signatures reached
To: UC Regents, UC President Napolitano and UC CIO Bachher
Divest from Wells Fargo! University of California (UC) Prison Divestment!
Wells Fargo is a notorious bankroller for the private prison industry and provides over $1.2 billion in capital for these prisons. And with 1.5 million shares invested in private prisons, Wells Fargo has made its interest in locking up Black people for profit very clear. In the age of #BlackLivesMatter and a reinvigorated Black Freedom Struggle, the UC should NOT be bankrolling the inhuman mass incarceration regime that has gripped America.
We demand that the University of California (UC):
1. DIVEST, effective immediately, all of the $425 million it has currently invested in Wells Fargo if Wells Fargo does not cancel its business relationships with the private prison industry by February 20th, 2016 and
2. INSTITUTE a policy to never invest in private prison corporations, and
3. INSTITUTE a policy to never invest in Wells Fargo for as long as Wells Fargo has any business dealings with private prison corporations, and
4. INSTITUTE a policy where the Chief Investment Officer provides quarterly investment reports to the public on the Regents website and
5. IMPLEMENT a Socially Responsible Investment screen committee that actively researches whether future corporations the UC invests in are held to ethical standards and that such committee has representatives from the Afrikan Black Coalition and University of California Students Association and
6. RE-INVEST the money that's being divested in education, and companies that are owned or controlled by the formerly incarcerated.
Why is this important?
We, the undersigned community members and justice seekers, are excited by the Afrikan Black Coalition's recent victory in getting the University of California to divest $25 million from the private prison corporations Corrections Corporations of America (CCA), The Geo Group, and G4S. The victory was historic because private prisons have exacerbated America's mass incarceration regime, are implicated in gross human rights violations, and should be outlawed.
However, we share the Afrikan Black Coalition's outrage and frustration resulting from the UC system's startling $425 million investment in Wells Fargo, one of the largest financiers of private prisons. According a report from Enlace, Wells Fargo facilitates access to over $1.2 billion capital for private prisons. As of their latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wells Fargo owned nearly 1.5 million shares in private prisons. It bears noting that Wells Fargo is a bank that practiced discriminatory lending and maneuvered people of color (primarily Black and Latino) into subprime mortgages that led to the financial meltdown of 2007-2008; and in response to accusations of racial discrimination in its lending practices, Wells Fargo settled for $175 million in 2012 with pending litigations from several U.S cities (Los Angeles and Oakland) about discriminatory practices.
It is for these reasons that we stand in solidarity with the Afrikan Black Coalition in its call for justice for those who are systematically dehumanized by an unforgiving and unfair judicial system that continues to criminalize Black and brown bodies. We acknowledge these cases illustrate the evolution of America's legal institution to uphold race, gender, and class hierarchies. By investing in Wells Fargo Bank, the University of California is actively supporting a legacy of historical emphasis on profit margins at the expense of human beings, and the continued mass criminalization of Black existence. It is an ethical embarrassment and a clear disregard for Black and immigrant lives for the UC to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Wells Fargo as a financier of private prisons. In the age of Black Lives Matter and a reinvigorated Black Freedom Struggle, the UC should NOT be bankrolling the inhuman mass incarceration regime that has gripped America.
How it will be delivered
We plan to deliver the signatures in person to the UC regents on March 20th.
**Illustration generously provided by Daniel Stolle. http://www.danielstolle.com**