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In "The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit, and Life," a Tapestry of Faith program
Socially Responsible Investing, or SRI, is one way some UU congregations, groups, and individuals bring spiritual and religious values into investment. SRI pays attention to the idea that investment is fundamentally a relationship between the one providing capital through investment and the one creating something of value. A socially responsible approach to investing requires an investor to make determinations about value beyond financial return and to act on those decisions. In effect, there is a "double bottom line," where both financial performance and social effects are important, often supporting one another.
Explain that your purpose in this activity is to unpack SRI so that participants can explore if and how it might be part of personal and/or congregational financial practices. This workshop is not the place to debate SRI in congregational investment policies. Suggest appropriate congregational leaders with whom interested participants might study and discuss the issues in more depth after the workshop.
Distribute Handout 2, Ten Things All UUs Should Know About Socially Responsible Investing. Explain that the handout is an abbreviated version of a page on the UUA website. Invite volunteers to read each of the ten items. Ask if participants have any knowledge or experience with SRI. Invite them to briefly share their experiences.
Distribute Handout 3, Fossil Fuel Divestment Debate. Explain that there are two main positions in the current debate: Some believe the UUA should completely eliminate from our stock portfolio companies that extract, refine, and distribute fossil fuels; this is called divestment. Others believe we should use the UUA's position as shareholder to pressure such companies to adopt more environmentally friendly policies and practices. Invite participants to read the handout. Tell them the Summer 2013 issue of UU World (in print or online) has the full essays.
Ask for comment and discussion about the fossil fuel debate. After about five minutes, explain that although you could spend a great deal of time debating, the issues are complex, and engaging this debate is not the focus of this workshop. Invite participants instead to focus more closely on SRI, using the fossil fuel debate as a case study to help understand how SRI works. Lead a discussion using these questions:
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 29, 2014.
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