Big banks take our universities' money and use it to finance mountaintop removal coal mining, risky investments in derivatives, high fees on credit cards, lobbying to bend and break regulations, and predatory loans to low-income people. Around the country, students and other stakeholders are already taking action to say that their schools do not support the practices of the national banks whose irresponsible and exploitive practices contributed to the financial crisis, and are demanding their schools divest from Wall Street.
The Alternative: Community Finance
Community development financial institutions, like credit unions and community banks, have missions to lend to local individuals and businesses who want to improve their communities in socially positive and sustainable ways. By focusing on affordable housing, small business creation, environmental issues, and providing financial services to people marginalized by the mainstream banking system, community investment addresses many economic and environmental challenges.
What are community investments, what's the point, and how are they different from mainstream institutions? View our handout and learn more here.
Want to integrate community investment into your campaign? Get started here!
Art by Monica Mendoza Castrejon from the University of Washington