Black Lives Matter: Investor Responsibilities and Systemic Racism
In the past three years, Trillium has made clear that human rights are central to our mission. In 2017, following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia we stated:
Our concerns are at their core moral in nature. As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” These fundamental principles are at the heart of who we are.
In 2019, following attacks in El Paso, Texas, Gilroy, California, and Dayton, Ohio which were investigated as domestic terrorism and/or inspired by violent ideologies we reiterated our profound concern and highlighted:
an additional focus on both the role of social media platforms and on our national unwillingness to restrict access to or require effective licenses for high volume-capable weapons. We share the concern that access to these weapons and to social media platforms acts as an accelerant and amplifier of this violent and aggressive behavior. The private sector has a special responsibility over these two issues as businesses are responsible for creating and providing access to these products.
Now, in 2020 – almost 30 years after the beating of Rodney King by police officers – we again bear witness to the pain and frustration and outrage that historic and systemic racism continues to shape the lives and deaths of so many of our fellow Americans. Americans whose names we must say, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery – and the list goes on and on.
Black Lives Matter.
Trillium recognizes the ways in which systemic racism has benefited investors and that investors have the power to help change those conditions. Trillium is listening to the leading individuals and organizations working tirelessly on anti-racism so that we can learn, take responsibility, and act. Finally, we are committed to continuing our work to achieve a more just and sustainable society through our investments and our shareholder advocacy. These tools of direct action, while not a panacea or the ultimate solution, play their part in addressing the systemic racism throughout our society, corporations, and government.