When families and unaccompanied children seeking asylum at the border and long-time residents living in our communities are detained by immigration enforcement, they are most often sent to privately owned and operated prisons and detention centers. The companies that run these facilities, which have quadrupled in number over the last decade, profit as separations and detentions increase, as do their shareholders. These companies are simultaneously expanding their capacity to influence immigration-related policies.
Divestment by foundations from the prison industrial complex is a critical part of the battle against mass incarceration for communities of color. Foundations who have been grantmaking to support the movement to reduce mass incarceration have also embarked on an analysis of the investment side of their organizations to divest from prison companies. A growing number of foundations are making grants to prevent families being separated by our immigration system, to reduce detention of immigrants and asylum seekers, and to prevent the trauma and abuse that occur in detention. Yet many institutions simultaneously remain invested in the immigration private prisons, and even the larger prison industrial complex that profit from these practices against all communities of color.
Join us for a “how to” conversation on how foundations can divest from the prison industrial complex. We will consider how philanthropy can follow in the footsteps of recent divestment decisions by JPMorgan Chase & Co, New York State, the United Methodist Church, and General Electric, among others. We will discuss how to raise these issues at your foundation, how to positively engage investment committees, and how divestment is part of a spectrum of corporate accountability measures.
- Daniel Carrillo, Executive Director, Freedom to Thrive
- Lori Bezahler, President, Hazen Foundation
- Confluence Philanthropy
- Freedom to Thrive
- Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
- National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy