The Harvard Corporation’s Committee on Corporation Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR) has agreed to meet with the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign. The meeting will take place on Monday, October 28, 2019 from 5 to 6pm. The location of the meeting is to be determined.
This marks the first meeting between the CCSR and the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign. The CCSR has historically been the group that has made Harvard’s divestment decisions, such as the decision to divest from the tobacco industry and to divest from the genocide in Darfur.
The Campaign organizers have been in contact between President Lawrence Bacow and CCSR Chairperson William Lee. Should the CCSR agree with the Campaign’s proposal to divest, it shall write up a proposal to propose to the larger Corporation Board of Directors for approval. Should it be approved, the Harvard Management Company will then heed the Board’s direction and direct its external fund managers to re-adjust its investments accordingly.
This meeting also comes on the heels of the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign’s October 2019 research report, entitled “The Harvard-to-Prison Pipeline.” This Report will be officially released to the public at the Report Release Party on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 12pm at Harvard Law School, Wasserstein building, in room 1010.
“We’re feeling really hopeful about this meeting,” said organizer and third-year law student Amanda Chan. “Last year, it was all about getting Bacow’s attention and really demonstrating to him how serious and atrocious this issue is. Now, we have a meeting with the CCSR. Harvard could actually have a chance in addressing its legacy of slavery.”
The Campaign is hosting Free-Them Week, a week of programming with the theme of prison abolition and prison-industrial complex divestment. The program runs from October 21 to 25. The schedule can be found here.
“One year ago, we were a few students asking others to sign a petition. Now, we have a meeting with Board members from the most powerful and the richest university on planet Earth,” said Marina Multhaup, a second-year student at the Law School. “Harvard, do it right this time. Stop profiting off of caging people.”