View Full Version : Do you have TIAA-CREF?

06-16-2010, 08:05 PM
If so, you may be investing in the oppression of Palestinian people.

Please help with divestment efforts (http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/301/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4048). Be proactive in your retirement fund.

TIAA-CREF's tagline is "finance for the greater good." It takes pride not just in its financial acumen, but also in its ethical standards.

But TIAA-CREF, invests its money--my retirement money-- in companies that help maintain the Gaza blockade, build West Bank settlements, embed spy equipment in the illegal Separation Wall, and sell Israel navy ships and other war equipment used to attack Gaza and, most recently, the Flotilla. Even TIAA-CREF's "socially responsible" funds are invested in some of the companies JVP is targeting, including Caterpillar and Motorola.

Yet TIAA-CREF was the first major fund to divest from those doing business in the Sudan, and then other companies followed suit. If we can just convince TIAA-CREF to follow its own guidelines, as it has in the Sudan, we will have a major impact.

TIAA CREF participants are public school teachers, college and university professors, hospital doctors and staff, researchers, artists and non-profit workers. We are launching this campaign with the endorsements of over 250 prominent professors, doctors authors, artists, and many others who are standing up for what is right. You can see who has signed on here.

This is just the beginning. Will you join us?

You'll be standing with scholars such as Professor Richard Falk and Professor Noam Chomsky, authors and activists such as Naomi Klein, Juan Cole, Bill Fletcher Jr., and Nadia Hijab, a dozen rabbis from around the country, and many others fighting for justice.

We ask you to sign the petition - regardless of your religion, ethnicity or profession, or whether you participate in a TIAA-CREF retirement plan.

This campaign demands accountability from the ground up, starting with you and me. An old bumper sticker sums it up: "If the people lead, the leaders will follow."

Only if we lead, will D.C. follow.

We think that with your help, this campaign will make a huge difference.

Economic pressure campaigns using boycott, divestment and sanction tactics have a long and noble history. They helped end apartheid in South Africa. They worked in the American South, in the civil rights movement. They worked to persuade California grape producers to recognize their workers' union. Most recently, many people are boycotting Arizona in response to its treatment of immigrants. But none of these campaigns were overnight successes. This is the beginning of a long, hard battle, but we're determined to win it. If you join, we will win.

06-16-2010, 08:24 PM
Yes, I have TIAA-CREF, and I just signed the petition. :)

06-16-2010, 08:26 PM
Yay! Thanks.

07-22-2010, 10:27 AM
If so, you may be investing in the oppression of Palestinian people.

Please help with divestment efforts (http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/301/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4048). Be proactive in your retirement fund.

Just a brief update. I received an email with a letter from the Jewish Voice for Peace describing the success of this petition. Here is an excerpt from such letter:


I'm writing you from New York City where I just got back from the TIAA-CREF annual meeting and I'm still a bit overwhelmed by the experience.

I can't tell you what it meant to have each one of you there with us in the room. 15,300 of you to be exact. Each of you signed a petition or a postcard, or secured hundreds of postcards in your own community. And you know what? That made all the difference --- to us, and to the leadership of TIAA-CREF .
Yesterday we finally got a chance to call on TIAA-CREF, in person, to divest from companies like Caterpillar and Elbit that profit from Israel's occupation. As a fellow activist in the room said, "This was a real breakthrough today." I couldn't agree more.

At the meeting, those who have retirement accounts with the company can stand up and speak. We had a designated speaker delivering the postcards to TIAA-CREF management, and we knew a few other people, mostly professors and teachers, would get up and ask that their money not be invested in companies that profit from discrimination, death, and destruction, and push hope and peace ever further away.

But what happened was extraordinary. First 5, then 10, then 14 people, then more got up, one after another, to speak from the heart about why TIAA CREF must not profit from Israel's occupation. These people weren't just JVP members, but included TIAA-CREF shareholders attending the meeting for entirely different reasons, who were spontaneously moved to speak in support of our campaign.

Not a single person spoke to defend Israel's occupation. Not one. But we all know that will change, which is why we need you now to help us grow the 15,300 to 25,000 and then 50,000.
But yesterday, our voice for justice, for full equality, for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, dominated the room. So many inspiring and courageous JVP activists stood up to say how TIAA-CREF was fueling death and destruction by literally investing in it. To implore TIAA-CREF to find a new way.

During the meeting, we had the honor of delivering our many stacks of petitions and postcards directly to the Chief Financial Officer, and could feel the energy in the room change as the TIAA-CREF executives saw how many people we were representing. The CEO of TIAA-CREF announced they would be meeting with our campaign team tomorrow, and I knew they were taking us seriously.

It was impossible for anyone in that room to not have been affected by what they saw and heard. Just imagine - hours of statements about the Israeli occupation were made in the boardroom of one of the largest financial services companies in the world.The executive managers and board members present listened attentively, respectfully.

We know the struggle will be long to actually get TIAA-CREF to divest, but this is just the beginning. Our story is already spreading across the world, with media coverage in US News and Report, Inside Higher Ed, Israel's Ha'aretz, Tabletand the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

You've made all of this possible, and we plan on bringing you with us every step of the way. Please add more voices to yours! We are already having an impact at 15,300 but want to grow to 50,000. Please tell your friends today.

Jewish Voice for Peace