Joint Statement on Racial Justice from Oikocredit Canada and Oikocredit US
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Oikocredit Canada and Oikocredit US join our voices together to make it clear that Black Lives Matter. In an effort to be part of the solution, we commit to stand beside those who strive to be heard and seek to create a more just and equal society.
As demonstrations continue to unfold in major cities around the globe, we condemn the systemic racism that has sparked this movement. The history and treatment of Black, Indigenous and People of Color, particularly in the United States and in Canada, has been brutal and often deadly. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Regis Korchinski-Paquet are only the latest in a long list of those whose deaths are a testament to how deep the roots of racism are and how much needs to change.
As we continue to learn and grow, it’s more important than ever for us to leverage our anguish and passion to drive for positive, meaningful and lasting change. We recognize the systemic nature of racism in our field and its history in colonialism. This is why we strive to fundamentally change the institutions of governance and finance that perpetuate it.
Oikocredit’s socially responsible investing stemmed from an early commitment to civil rights and social justice. These efforts gained traction in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and the peace movement of the 1960s. As faith-based investors, Oikocredit’s founders played a particular leadership role in divesting from holdings that were not aligned with their values. We continue to commit ourselves to changing our system of capitalism to be more financially inclusive. By using finance as a tool to address some of humanity’s most far-reaching problems, we can achieve a more equitable, just and sustainable world.
We commit to examine how our own organizations and countries are complicit in upholding institutional racism. We must engage in dialogue about racial injustice, and adopt practices that measurably promote diversity and equity. Words are not enough -- we must become active and engaged anti-racists.
We acknowledge that our past work is not enough. By listening to and engaging with our partners in the field, we can improve our endeavors. By listening to and engaging with the racial justice movements in our own countries, we can begin to make a better world at home.
Please join us in deepening our dedication and taking action to bring about the better world the Oikocredit movement wishes to see at home and abroad.
Karl Braun Chad Toppass
Chair, Oikocredit Canada Chair, Oikocredit US