Black student unions at all nine University of California campuses have reached a unanimous decision to call out the UC system for their $25 million investment in private prisons and $425 million investment in Wells Fargo.
The group is called the Afrikan Black Coalition, and it’s the largest statewide coalition of Black students. They are calling for the UC Regents to divest the money invested in private prisons & in Wells Fargo, and they also want them to create a “Socially Responsible Investment Screening Committee”.
These students realize the disproportionate rate at which Black people are forced into the prison industrial complex, and refuse to ignore the mass incarceration. They cite the fact that in 2010, Black men were incarcerated at a rate of 5,525 per 100,000 people when the rates per 100,000 for Latinos were 1,146, 671 for whites and 43 for Asians. And it’s not much better for Black women. Black women are incarcerated at a rate of 133 per 100,000 women — three times the rate of white women. And young Black women (18 and under) are the fastest-growing group in the juvenile justice and criminal justice system.
To put things in perspective, California built three CSU campuses & one UC campus in the past three decades. But in that same timeframe, 23 prisons were built.
Their list of demands are as follows:
- Divest, effective immediately, the $25 million sum in CCA, The Geo Group, and other private prisons.
- Divest, effective immediately, the $425 million sum in Wells Fargo as long as Wells Fargo has any business relations with the private prison industry.
- The UC Regents must institute a policy to never invest in private prison corporation.
- The UC Regents must institute a policy to never invest in Wells Fargo for as long as Wells Fargo has any business dealings with private prison corporations.
- The UC President Napolitano and the Regents must issue a memorandum advising all the individual UC foundations to DIVEST all their holdings from private prisons and Wells Fargo immediately.
- The UC Regents must mandate the Chief Investment Officer to provide quarterly investment reports to the Afrikan Black Coalition.
- The UC Regents must implement a Socially Responsible Investment screen committee that actively researches whether future corporations the UC invests in are held to ethical standards and such committee must have representatives from the Afrikan Black Coalition and UCSA.
- The millions of funds which will be divested must get reinvested in education, and companies that are owned or controlled by the formerly incarcerated.