If you’re going to San Francisco, you can “change the world from here”

by Caitlin Dally, Student Organizer

As a new member of the responsible investments activist community, I have to admit I was a little intimidated entering the REC Student Organizing Institute this past August. I am an extremely passionate person, devoted to social justice – I am studying international studies/peace and conflict mediation – and yet the thought of fighting to move money hadn’t crossed my mind as an effective means for making change, until recently.

I study at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit institution that prides itself for educating students to create a more humane and just world. I feel that myself, and most of my peers, feel very strongly that we share these values. The past couple weeks I have returned to school revitalized with the opportunity to do this work. I have contacted friends and colleagues to build a team and start a project on community investment at USF. Currently the university is having a facelift, as the new John Lo Schiavo; S.J. Center for Science and Innovation is being built in the center of the main campus. During this construction USF has also chosen to alter its motto to “change the world from here”. The transition has been a controversial one, but it has made me start thing about my project on creating a responsible investment movement on our campus through community development and investment. I found that once I could explain my project in an effective way, people were interested and wanted to participate in something I cared about because they realized they also cared about it. USF can change the world from here by directly investing in its community.

My main tactic so far has been to reach out to organizations in the San Francisco community that are affiliated with the responsible investments movement and/or Jesuit institutions. I am hoping that when I approach the administration at USF with the support and knowledge base of these organizations I can be more effective and credible in persuading them. Lucky for me, there are endless amounts of resources and people to contact! Just researching various organizations can get me spiraling into an investigation of the responsible investment community here in the bay area. I am so excited to learn from all of them and build my campaign with the team here at USF.

If you’re going to San Francisco, expect to find the world at your fingertips. All you have to do it reach out to it.

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