Putting Capital to Work for Justice

MOVING MONEY FOR CHANGE: Putting Capital to Work for Justice  Thursday – Saturday, June 1-3, 2006,
Chicago, IL

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien: I am the LORD your God.  

— Leviticus 23:22

Vast financial resources are invested in the
U.S. with little awareness of how that money might contribute to, or detract from, the common good.  How can invested dollars promote justice, community, and economic opportunity for the poor, instead of being concentrated on Wall Street and making the rich richer?  This conference will address this problem by examining how faith communities can become more aware and engaged in socially responsible investing, particularly as it relates to the growing strategic arena of “community investing.”  The theologians, educators and activists of the SEC will join financial professionals of the SIF Faith Traditions working group and other interested persons to network, strategize and promote a message and vision of economic justice and the common good.

We will gather on the weekend that Christian churches celebrate Pentecost and Jewish synagogues celebrate Shavuot to explore these great faith traditions of economic justice and compassion.  The conference will include in-depth conversation about the spiritual, philosophical and practical aspects of making surplus capital available to poor communities, both domestically and abroad, through community development financial institutions, micro-credit organizations, cooperatives and other strategies.  A unique half-day exposure trip to ShoreBank, the country’s first and leading community development and conservation bank, will offer an opportunity to learn about this progressive model of community investment, followed by a visit to some Southside Chicago neighborhoods to hear stories of individuals and organizations that have benefited from ShoreBank’s practices.  A variety of other sessions will focus on equipping participants to further explore, engage and promote community investing