Immigration Humanitarian Crisis- How Can Impact Investors Help?

<a style="background-color:black;color:white;text-decoration:none;padding:4px 6px;font-family:-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, &quot;San Francisco&quot;, &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Ubuntu, Roboto, Noto, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1.2;display:inline-block;border-radius:3px" href=";utm_campaign=photographer-credit&amp;utm_content=creditBadge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Download free do whatever you want high-resolution photos from Gemma Evans"><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px"><svg xmlns="" style="height:12px;width:auto;position:relative;vertical-align:middle;top:-1px;fill:white" viewBox="0 0 32 32"><title>unsplash-logo</title><path d="M20.8 18.1c0 2.7-2.2 4.8-4.8 4.8s-4.8-2.1-4.8-4.8c0-2.7 2.2-4.8 4.8-4.8 2.7.1 4.8 2.2 4.8 4.8zm11.2-7.4v14.9c0 2.3-1.9 4.3-4.3 4.3h-23.4c-2.4 0-4.3-1.9-4.3-4.3v-15c0-2.3 1.9-4.3 4.3-4.3h3.7l.8-2.3c.4-1.1 1.7-2 2.9-2h8.6c1.2 0 2.5.9 2.9 2l.8 2.4h3.7c2.4 0 4.3 1.9 4.3 4.3zm-8.6 7.5c0-4.1-3.3-7.5-7.5-7.5-4.1 0-7.5 3.4-7.5 7.5s3.3 7.5 7.5 7.5c4.2-.1 7.5-3.4 7.5-7.5z"></path></svg></span><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px">Gemma Evans</span></a>

I don't know about you, but sometimes it feels hard or even superficial to focus on work while seeing the heartbreaking stories of immigrant families being separated at the border. I'm frequently reminded of the saying, "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." So how do we channel that outrage toward change? Of course, we can all call our representativesprotest, and donate. But how do we also leverage our positions in financial services to make pragmatic steps forward with the financial levers available to us? I have some thoughts.

I get a fair amount of news via Twitter and my feed is an interesting place these days- it's a mix of financial articles and people using their platforms to call attention to the human rights abuses happening at the border. One of the trends I'm seeing emerge is a confluence of those two themes. Reporters are investigating which companies are profiting from immigration detention centers. Organizations are targeting the revenues of those companies. And influential individuals are publicly pressuring institutional investors to divest. I predict that there may soon be a more cohesive movement to divert capital from those companies or disrupt them in other ways. 

We've seen ESG and SRI funds and managers do this before: divesting from and even short selling private prisons, some of which are the same companies currently benefiting from increased incarceration of immigrants. Here's an impact interview I did with Matthew Blume of Appleseed on that topic last year. Do your clients own private prison stocks GEO or CXW directly or inside of funds?   

We can speak our values with our voices, our votes, and our dollars- spending, saving, lending and investing. Following the money flowing to the immigrant detention centers and trying to have a financial impact is one lever we can use. And though that alone isn't enough to fix the problem, it's the lever we have access to; so let's pull it.  

Additional Resources

Together Rising- This organization "helps the helpers" by researching where to donate, and pooling funds. 

ACLU - defends and preserves the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

RAICES-  provides free and low-cost legal services to under-served immigrant children, families and refugees. Donate and read about this organization via Facebook as traffic has overwhelmed their website.

Women Take Action Fund- Funding bail money and direct action training for women for the June 28 action mentioned below.

Women Take Action - Direct action/ civil disobedience in Washington DC on June 28

Families Belong Together - Rallies around the country on June 30

Call Your Representatives & Voting
Rock the Vote - Register to vote!

5 Calls - Gives you phone numbers and scripts to call your reps.


"You Can't Be What You Can't See"

"You Can't Be What You Can't See"

Marian Wright Edelman says, “you can’t be what you can’t see.” It’s tough to stay in a field (let alone advance) when there are no colleagues or leaders who look like you. It’s not just that you can’t see the path to the top, it’s also that peers and managers can’t imagine “someone like you” as a leader.

One of the things I often speak and write about is the lack of diversity in financial services. We’re not even close to reflecting the racial, ethnic, or gender diversity of the United States. Today I want to share one relatively easy starting point where each of us can make an impact and push our companies and colleagues towards improvement.

Read More

My Number 1 #WomenInBusiness Role Model - Happy Mother's Day

I distinctly remember my mom preparing to ask for a raise so that she would be earning the same salary as her male physical therapist peers. I even remember the number; she asked for a 12% raise and equity participation. Her boss said no. What I don’t remember is seeing her feeling dejected, which she must have felt. Maybe she hid that for the benefit of us kids; I was 8, my brother 5. What I do remember is her being frustrated, then angry, then resolute. She was going to quit and start her own business. 

Read More

Impact Investing Success Story: Making Investing with Our Values Accessible for Both Advisors and Investors | In Conversation with Catherine Berman of CNote

Supporting individuals and companies outside of philanthropy felt like a natural way to open more capital for strong organizations that were solving real societal problems; I’ve been a fan of impact investing ever since. 

Read More

Top Problem; Top Solution: Call Your Clients!

Top Problem; Top Solution: Call Your Clients!

Recently, someone asked me about the top challenges I see when working with RIAs. I identified four common issues, and want to share one of them with you today. The problem is not unique to RIAs, but instead fairly universal to service businesses.  I’d love to hear if this resonates with you, and if so, if you have any techniques that work for you.

Problem: Many RIA founders, managers, and financial advisors say that they should be spending more time communicating with and seeing their clients, but they just aren’t doing it.

My thoughts: Regular, personal communication with clients is arguably the most important thing you can do to maintain and grow your business.

Read More