Black Student Group Demands Univ. Of California Divest From Prisons

December 18, 2015  |  

https://twitter.com/ABlackCoalition/status/652866558260301824

Higher education has always been promoted as the best way to address most, if not all, of the Black community’s social and economic ills. But what if our personal quest for empowerment is actually helping to drive the school-to-prison pipeline?

It is a question that some college students at the University of California have begun weighing and organizing around.

More specifically, the student group, which calls itself the Afrikan Black Coalition (ABC) released a report last month on its website, revealing how the UC system, which includes 10 campuses across the state, is “an indirect investor of private prisons through mutual funds-managed by outside investment bankers.”

How much is this alleged indirect investment?

Well, according to the ABC report, the UC system has allegedly invested $25 million in both the Corrections Corporation of America and private prison provider The Geo Group. Likewise, the Coalition reports that the UC system has a total of $425 million invested in Wells Fargo, which as the report contends is “one of the largest financiers of private prisons.”

Of course, mass incarceration is a serious issue in this country, including California, which in 2011 was ordered by the U.S Supreme Court to release 30,000 prisoners as a way to help alleviate overcrowding in its state penitentiary system. And as the ABC report noted: “While the state of California only built three CSU campuses and one UC campus in the last 30 years, 23 prisons were built in that same time frame.”

In response to its own findings, the student group has decided to take action against the university. And according to a new press release, which is also available on its site:

“After learning further about the for-profit industry of mass incarceration, the Black Student Unions at all nine UC campuses have unanimously voted on a resolution calling on the UC regents to divest immediately. The formal resolution calls on the UC Regents to divest from private prisons, divest from Wells Fargo, and to create a Socially Responsible Investment Screening Committee. For Black students, the decision was simple from both a personal and political standing.

In addition to divestment from CCA, The Geo Group and Wells Fargo, ABC is also demanding that UC Regents (the UC system governing board) institute a policy to never invest in a private prison corporation or Wells Fargo “for as long as Wells Fargo has any business dealings with private prison corporations.” It is also demanding that a Socially Responsible Investment screen committee be created that “actively researches whether future corporations the UC invests in are held to ethical standards” and that the diverted money be used and “re-invested in education, and companies that are owned or controlled by the formerly incarcerated.”

The idea of getting a university to divest millions might sound like a pretty hefty and symbolic task. However there is precedent.

It was public pressure, spurred by student activism, which led to Columbia University’s recent decision to divest roughly $10 million in shares from CCA and international for-profit prison operator G4S.

And according to this article, which was posted on the website for the Responsible Endowment Coalition, ABC is a part of a growing list of other student coalition campaigns aimed at getting their educational institutions to divest from corporations that support prisons, including students at UC Berkeley, University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University and the City University of New York (CUNY).

Hopefully, the young folks can gain headway on this particular issue.

While we all know that higher education is a wonderful avenue for self-empowerment, we should also be conscious that it’s going to take more than a bunch of us having college degrees to seriously deal with mass incarceration in this country.

For ways on how to find out and take divestment action at your college and university, the site PrisonDivest.com has some helpful organizing tips.

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  • OpinionHated

    Jails should not be a for profit business… especially when we know that law enforcement unrfairly targets minorities….. fix the justice system I am not worried about terrorist i’m worried about my kids, cousins, nephews, nieces being unfairly tossed in jail to make some fat cat running a for profit jail system wealthy.

  • Raze

    They have a long battle ahead of them, but it’s reasonable to ask why the school isn’t asking more questions regarding where the money it invests is going.

  • Jon Johnson

    We demanding #JusticeOrElse.

    We demanding???? black dimwits in college…..

    • Simone

      When you feel something is not just, do you ask and say please? If you’re told no do you say okay and go sit down?

    • Guest

      “We demanding???? black dimwits in college…..”–Lol! Trolling a black blog is clearly more productive, so you do not have to worry about those black dimwits in college.

      Simply hilarious!!!

  • Keith A Richey

    tell these “students” to take a hike. if you do not like how our University is funded, or how we fund programs at our University please feel free to transfer. thank you for your input.

    • Jon Johnson

      Remember most of these students are little more than beggars…..

      Beggars demanding they get more….

  • Rich Mall

    This is a good example why you should not have third world mentality involved in situations like this. Or a better way to put it…… using the mentality of ‘uncivilized’ minds in matters they know nothing about? This is the biggest issues of struggles that the black community has in America, they lack the ability to be ‘civilized’.

    • Guest

      “they lack the ability to be ‘civilized’.”–Lol! Now that’s funny coming from the people that have plundered, looted, raped, destroyed, annihilated whole cultures, lands and people across the gloge. You’re “civilized”–Hilarious!!!

      • Of course

        Yes, we are. That’s why you choose to stay.

        • Guest

          “Yes, we are.”–Lol! Only in your head dear–but that’s all that matters.

          “That’s why you choose to stay.”–Well of course sweetheart!!! Why would we leave the fruits of our stolen/beaten/raped/killed labor!?!?

          You got another 5 centuries to go. Simply hilarious!!!!

          • Rich Mall

            And that is why they are getting rid of the ‘Birthright Amendment’ to deport those that fell under it? ‘SameShitDifferentDay’

            • Guest

              Ummm…What does this immigration policy, which has already been shot down, have to do with black American descendants of slaves!? ‘SameShitDifferrentPeople’

              • Rich Mall

                Why after 152+ years after slavery the black community no better off then back then? The ‘Birthright Amendment’ has nothing to do with immigration policy…. know the facts before saying anything

                • Guest

                  “Why after 152+ years after slavery the black community no better off then back then?”–Why after 152+ years of superioty the white community is still full of morons?

                  “The ‘Birthright Amendment’ has nothing to do with immigration policy”–Lol! Sweetheart, a simple google search would have helped you with the history of this law and how it’s being applied against immigrants today. Even your own initial comment highlights this : “they are getting rid of the ‘Birthright Amendment’ to DEPORT those that fell under it?” Where are they going to deport the descendants of slaves that have been in this country since its inception!? Simply hilarious!!!!

                  ” know the facts before saying anything”–Know the facts AND what the f*ck you’re talking before saying anything.

                  It is clear that you’re a complete idiot, so please keep ’em coming so I can be entertained.

                  • Rich Mall

                    “I have urged the colonization of the Neqr0es,(back to Africa), and I shall continue. My Emancipation Proclamation was linked with this plan (of colonization). There is no room for two distinct races of White men in America, much less for two distinct races of Whites and Blacks. . . . I can think of no greater calamity than the assimilation of the Neqr0 into our social and political life as our equal . . . Within twenty years we can peacefully colonize the Neqr0 . . . under conditions in which he can rise to the full measure of manhood. This he can never do here. We can never attain the ideal union our fathers dreamed, with millions of an alien, inferior race among us, whose assimilation is neither possible nor desirable.”

                    — In Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of Sept. 1862

                    • Guest

                      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHA……………………………

                      You couldn’t defend your stupidity and ignorance anymore, so this was the best you could come up with several days later!?!?–BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA …HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA……………..

                      Just when I thought you could be anymore of a failure than you already were, you prove me wrong. This reach is so mindblowingly dumb and desperate, that it’s HYSTERICALl!!!

                      Sweetheart, your white tears taste like wine. Imbecil Caucs. like you make my day.

      • Rich Mall

        Guess you should not speak kindly of your African Homeland when they sold ya……

        • Guest

          I can speak kindly of Africa the “Homeland when they sold ya” whenever I feel like it. Sorry.

  • G Oliver

    This is… I have no words to explain this. Just what? They are asking for a school to stop investing it’s funds entirely in a revenue generating system? I mean the only reason prisons make money is because people commit crimes you want to do something about it tell people to stop commiting crimes it’s not that hard to not commit crimes no one is making you rob anyone and if they are then they deserve to be in prison… Prisons don’t work to rehabilitate because you actually have to want to be rehabilitated. This is so pointless and honestly these students may want to focus a little more on their studies rather then pointlessly rallying against a school. Fair if the school is commiting injustices. But this school is not, honestly in what way does having investments in prisons create a hostile learning environment? This makes no sense and to go as far as saying don’t use wellsfargo because they are used by prisons?? Really really? These students really do need to get back to class maybe if they studied something useful they might be able to get their degrees and go out and make a difference rather then marching for what they don’t know about.

    • Annamuffin

      They don’t want to take responsblity for their actions…. That’s why the continue to ignore the rampent crime they know about or see in their backyard….

  • Da Black Capitalist

    “Afrikan Black Coalition”

    Ugh, lame.

  • Da Black Capitalist

    While I abhor private prisons, how do they plan to replace the revenue stream that investment generated?

    • Charles Johnson

      Probably actual students of color? A state where higher education is hostile to black students (back in the mid 2000s, nearly all the black students at UCLA were sports athletes) and claims colorblindness when it’s far from it. To me they’re implicitly exploiting the school-to-prison pipeline–which disproportionately affects african americans–rather than actual students of color. i’m from los angeles and after I got into UCB, UC riverside and UCSD I decided to go to school in philly because I literally didn’t want to wear a T-shirt saying “4 percent represent”. i chose an ivy league because i knew back then cali high ed was not made for us but merely to exploit us.

      • Da Black Capitalist

        You didn’t answer my question. Your misinformed comment had literally nothing to do with my question.

        • Annamuffin

          That’s how they are, misinformed and delusional….

          • Guest

            “That’s how they are, misinformed and delusional….”–Lol! That’s comical coming from you.

            • pragmatic maxim

              Sybil lives!

      • Jeanette Noble

        No. This is just stupid. Do these students think investing elsewhere will do anything to reduce the incarceration rate? Other investors will swoop right in and the school’s money will go elsewhere. Big deal. Whether you like it or not, we need prisons because we have a lot of criminals. State run prisons aren’t going anywhere, and people are too stupid to just NOT commit crimes, so what difference does it make?

        • AmandaGee

          Jeanette, why are you so obsessed with us?

          • Jeanette Noble

            Who’s “us? “Are you telling me, I don’t belong on this site?

            • AmandaGee

              Your constant critique of Black people in every one of your comments is borderline obsessive.
              Get a life.

              • Jeanette Noble

                Everyone in these articles happens to be black. Get over it.

                • AmandaGee

                  Then why are you bothered? Is how we live our life affecting you?
                  Did your husband leave you for a black woman?

                  • Jeanette Noble

                    Why are you making this personal, Amanda? I commented on the substance of the article. If you don’t like my opinion, challenge it. Ad hominem digs only speak to your ignorance.

                    • AmandaGee

                      You take care now.
                      I’m sure I’ll see your trolling comments on another article on this website catered to BLACK WOMEN.

                    • Jeanette Noble

                      Right. You want to be equal except when you don’t.

        • Guest

          You’re obsession with us is too funny.

    • Raze

      All the schools have to do is invest somewhere else. Don’t forget, of this is a public university, these students will have to pay taxes; tax money that will eventually end up on this school’s table (along with alumni fees). Why would you pay taxes to a school that indirectly invests in building more prisons than it does in building more schools?

      • Da Black Capitalist

        You still didn’t answer my question. I’m asking if these kids have presented alternative investments, that loss of revenue will be felt soon enough. Taxes only pay for so much. Recklessly involving oneself in the financial portfolio of a university can come back to bite you in the as*.

        • Raze

          I did answer your question. The school would have to find an alternative investment firm. How hard is that to comprehend?

          • Da Black Capitalist

            No, you didn’t. I asked if the students offered any actual alternatives to future investments, which is a pretty simple question. If you’re not gonna give an actual answer, just stop replying.

        • pragmatic maxim

          But why should they provide other more responsible and ethitcal investment options to UC when it should be a certainty that they have the best and the brightest investment bankers and portfolio managers at their disposal. This is the university’s indiscretion…..not the people whom have shed light on it nor those who call for action. Now that the board members of UC’s decisions have come back to bite them they are the one’s who should treat the infection. The UC board of advisors are the only ones who should be held accountable for finding an amicable and moral resolution

          • Da Black Capitalist

            I never said they had to do anything, I was just wondering if there is any long term thinking at play here or just knee jerk emotional decisions. Hope this loss of money doesn’t bite the students in the as*.

            • pragmatic maxim

              Are you suggesting that demonstrators should have concern that the university may be forced to cut back on funding that benefits the Black student body as well as the rewarding of minority scholarships to make up for the losses?

              • Da Black Capitalist

                You have an issue with long term thinking?

                • pragmatic maxim

                  Maybe. What about it?

                  • Da Black Capitalist

                    And you openly admit it?

                    • pragmatic maxim

                      I’m trying to start a new trend for twenty sixteen. Complete transparency is the order of the day

                    • Da Black Capitalist

                      Fair enough.

  • PeoplePlease7

    Good deal….