NYT: How Investors Are Addressing Racial Injustice

Different strategies for socially responsible investing are working toward a similar goal: to pressure companies and municipalities to operate more equitably.

By Paul Sullivan, July 3, 2020

Socially responsible investing has been putting billions of dollars to work for social change for decades.

In some cases, the strategy means avoiding certain sectors. Religious organizations, for instance, steer clear of alcohol, firearms, tobacco and other “sin” stocks.

Some investors focus on companies that are already socially responsible to help them thrive, while starving competitors that are less responsible.

And others aim to change the practices at the companies themselves. By buying enough shares to get a seat at the table, they have a voice in issues like climate change, worker’s rights and gender discrimination.

For several years now, investors and advisers have applied the socially responsible lens to creating portfolios that consider racial inclusion and diversity. The social unrest incited by the killing of a Black man, George Floyd, by a Minneapolis police officer has added urgency to the movement.

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