Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is TIAA-CREF backing away from its claim to provide financial services "for the greater good"?

Member group Adalah-NY recently brought to light changes to the TIAA-CREF website, which no longer features the slogan, "For the Greater Good" as prominently as it once did.  For more information about TIAA-CREF click here.

Sometime between March 19 and April 4 2011, the giant financial services organization TIAA-CREFredesigned its website, The new design no longer features the slogan "For the Greater Good" next to its corporate logo in the headline banner.  Now relegated to plain text near the bottom of the page, the slogan had been a prominent component of the site since 2005.

Does this change reflect a reprioritization of the goals of TIAA-CREF, which was started as a philanthropic project? Is it a defensive reaction to the growing We Divest campaign initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace in June 2010, which calls on TIAA-CREF to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and other human rights–based campaigns such as those initiated by Mining Zone Peoples' Solidarity Group and Healthcare-Now?

Adalah-NY hopes that soon TIAA-CREF will recognize that socially responsible investment cannot exclude the rights of Palestinians and other oppressed peoples. Then, it can restore the slogan "For the Greater Good" to a prominent place on its website as a true reflection of its commitment to this principle.

Statement originally posted here.