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Nuns of Finance

We caught this story in the New York Times and were left with interesting questions:

Way up on the 41st floor, in a conference room overlooking the World Trade Center site, Sister Nora and her team from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility laid out their advice for three Goldman executives. The Wall Street bank, they said, should protect consumers, rein in executive pay, increase its transparency and remember the poor.

In short, Goldman should do God’s work— something that its chairman and chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, once remarked that he did. (The joke bombed.)

Long before Occupy Wall Street, the Sisters of St. Francis were quietly staging an occupation of their own. In recent years, this Roman Catholic order of 540 or so nuns has become one of the most surprising groups of corporate activists around.

Read the rest

Long story short. The nuns learned that if they invested their retirement money, buying the minimum stock required by a corporation to speak at the annual shareholders meeting, that they could effect change within a corporation.

It’s a brilliant form of non-violent activism. 

Some questions for discussion:

  • Do you think the nuns activism is doing God’s work?
  • What are other types of activism using a similar tactic?
  • What is a form of activism that you could get your students involved in?
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