To: President Charles Middleton
Roosevelt University: Go Fossil Free!
Because it is unconscionable to pay for our education with investments that will condemn the planet to climate disaster, we call on Roosevelt University to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds.
Why is this important?
Dear President Middleton,
As Roosevelt continues to establish itself as a leader in campus sustainability, we must be ready to engage in sustainable practices at all levels. We are committed to strengthening the social justice culture at Roosevelt, and we believe leadership on climate change is essential to our university’s social justice title.
With one of the first sustainability programs of its kind and the recent Gold LEED Certification of the Wabash Building, Roosevelt is already building a name for itself as a leader in sustainability. To distinguish these efforts, we must demonstrate leadership through our investments. Our attempts to ‘green’ our campus will gain integrity if we also ‘green’ our portfolio. A social justice university should have a socially responsible endowment, and the growing movement around fossil fuel divestment demonstrates the need for immediate action on climate change.
The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly clear. In this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted thousands of people and cost our country billions of dollars. Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years.
As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on Roosevelt to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. More broadly we encourage a transparent investment policy, with socially responsible investments becoming a point of pride for the university.
We believe such action on behalf of Roosevelt will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.
We look forward to collaborating with students, faculty, and administrators on this and other projects. Roosevelt has an opportunity to be one of five universities in the country to divest from the fossil fuel industry and to be the first in Chicago. Such action would put Roosevelt on the map as a university committed to solving the climate crisis and further its social justice mission.
RU Fossil Free