Money and Justice/Just Money
About 20 Loretto Community members and friends met Nov. 9, 2019, with Joel Koerner and Andy Loving from a Louisville, Ky., investment firm called Just Money. We had learned about this socially responsible company from Loretto friends in Kentucky who are their clients.
After the 2015 Loretto Assembly decision to divest congregation funds from the fossil fuel industry, a small group of Denver co-members met to discuss our personal finances. Socially responsible investing was not new to us, but we hoped to get a better idea of how/where our money was being invested. We did make changes individually with our financial advisers. We also had a desire to look at possibly doing some shared/collective investing in companies or non-profit efforts that were focused on justice. We wanted not only to divest. We wanted to be more intentional about our investing. With the advice, expertise and focus of Just Money we are looking at both individual and collective investment possibilities. Its website sums up a mission that we seek:
“IT’S POSSIBLE …
… to have financial well-being in line with your values.
… to invest capital in people who can use it to
change their lives.
… to leave a legacy of justice and sustainability for future generations.
… to know that both your financial concerns and life values are heard.
… for you to choose what to invest in and what not to invest in.”
Most of us don’t want to spend time and energy on where/when our funds are invested. With Just Money we can trust that we are only funding in a way that is in line with our values, and we can be as involved as we choose to be. Several of us are eager to learn more about “impact investing,” which would be done communally. That is, a small (or large) group of us might put in any amount of our choosing and would choose how/where those funds would go, such as a micro-lending project in Central America or a low-income housing project in Detroit. There would be a variety of options from which to choose. The funds would gain a return and could be withdrawn by the individual at any time.
By the end of this presentation there was an energy among participants to consider moving funds/savings to Just Money. It would be a simple process with guidance from Koerner or Loving. We encourage others to look at the website, give them a call and ask questions. The presentation was recorded and will be available soon.
“Political leaders are not the only powerful actors on the planet — those who hold money also have enormous power. … This power could be excercised in a matter of months, or even hours, not years or decades.” (“Money is the Oxygen on which the Fire of Global Warming Burns,” by Bill McKibben , The New Yorker, Sept. 17, 2019. )