Celebrating Juneteenth and Taking Action

Juneteenth Freedom Day

Juneteenth is an important day that commemorates the anniversary of June 19th in 1865, when the last group of more than 250,000 enslaved Black Americans was freed by Union troops. This newly adopted federal holiday—which is observed company-wide at Domini—is important for us to recognize as a firm and as individuals working together to strive for universal human dignity and racial justice in all the work that we do.

The Domini team is deeply committed to furthering racial justice through our work and in our investments. We recognize the societal imperative to do more to address racial injustice, discrimination, and structural barriers—and to repair the harm of the historical legacy that slavery has left on our society, down to the roots of our financial system.

At Domini, we not only recognize this day, but know the actions that each of us take in a community are part of building the culture of justice and equality, and highlight a few ways we are working to continue to bring this into our purpose and actions:

Fostering continued education, building an inclusive community: through trainings on cultural humility and the racial wealth gap, we are working to improve our own racial literacy and foster a culture of inclusion and trust. Colleagues share research and resources to bolster our commitment and highlight opportunities to address racial justice in our work.

Our Impact Investment Standards have been updated to incorporate evaluation of systemic racism, taking into account how a company’s products and services increase access or may benefit communities of color, as well as how they may cause harm.

Using our voice to advance change: we look for opportunities to advance racial justice and integrate it throughout our engagement. We are seeing deepening interest and commitment among companies.

We are integrating a racial justice lens across many of our engagements, seeking to evaluate how communities of color may be uniquely impacted by a company or their operations. A few examples:

  • We are addressing equitable access to affordable housing, especially through engagements with financial services companies and loan providers.
  • We are encouraging disclosure of employee demographic data in the EEO-1 and diversity in senior management and leadership.
  • We are pushing for better paid sick leave benefits and protection of worker safety—with a focus on low-wage or part-time jobs at large retail and delivery companies, where workers of color are often disproportionately represented.
  • We are engaging companies—especially in the energy sector—about disproportionate burdens of pollution from corporate activities on communities of color and how they are centering environmental justice.
  • We are active in conversations about equitable and affordable access to insulin, and we encourage healthcare and pharmaceutical companies to consider the disproportionate prevalence of diabetes among communities of color and to address unique needs of different communities.
  • We are asking companies how they are learning from past harms and repairing relationships.
  • We are also learning about how we can center the voices and needs of people who are most closely impacted by an issue. For example, in an engagement with a major food distributor on the human rights of farmworkers—who are often immigrants or people of color—we are lifting up the worker-driven social responsibility movement that workers feel is the most effective way to protect their rights.

Proxy voting: Through our proxy voting, in markets where disclosure is permitted, we advance our position in support of representation of people of color (or historically underrepresented groups) on the board, and we will vote against some or all board members if there is not adequate diversity. This year, we took it one step further and organized a letter supported by 16 investors with $17 billion in assets under management to communicate to S&P 100 companies our expectations on their board diversity.

Collaboration: Collective action and shared learning are important for advancing our work. We are active in the Racial Justice Investing Coalition, the Investors and Indigenous Peoples Working Group, and the 30% Coalition, and seek opportunities to comment on and advance industry initiatives, such as the Corporate Racial Equity Alliance.