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PAB Make Site Visit to Organizations Serving People in Need in Detroit

August 8, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – Many people might write off Detroit as a “lost cause” because of the well-known poverty and violence afflicting this town. However, Lura Mack and Kristine Cooper, director and executive assistant, respectively, of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB), spent a day visiting a variety of organizations that have made a difference for the individuals and communities in this troubled city.

For more than 40 years, the PAB has helped the Adrian Congregation to use its financial assets to further the values of the Gospel in the economic realm, through the wings of corporate responsibility and community investment. During a recent tour of Detroit hosted by IFF Detroit. The PAB has granted low-interest loans to IFF Detroit for its work, in turn, in lending to organizations that “create opportunities for low-income communities and people with disabilities.”

During the tour, Lura and Kris visited three organizations that have received low-interest loans from IFF Detroit:

  • The Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHCD), begun in 1979 by Angela Reyes in response to the violence in her community, serves more than 5,000 low-income people. DHCD’s first initiative was the Gang Retirement and Continuing Education and Employment Program (GRACE),which helps gang members to turn their lives around and work in local Hispanic-owned manufacturing companies.  The organization also provides bilingual support, child care support, community organization, and advocacy to bring about a change in policies that affect the people in the local community. Through a loan from IFF, the organization was able to refinance its existing debts.

  • Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation (CDC), founded in 1994 by six local churches, provides people in the community with positive opportunities through education, employment, and economic development. The CDC purchased 11 businesses and now operates eight of them to create jobs and provide needed goods and services. A loan from IFF helped to cover renovation costs for a vacant church that now serves as CDC’s home.

  • Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) Youth Program, founded in 2007 by Carlo Sweeney, helps urban boys and girls to develop good citizenship through a “demanding boxing program, strong academic support, and volunteer work.” Children in the program – ages seven to 18 – receive tutoring, mentoring, physical training, transportation, and a daily meal and, in turn are required to continue improving their academic performance. The loan from IFF allowed DBG to renovate a vacant building to provide services to more youth. 

“The trip reminded me of the ‘bus trips’ the Adrian Dominican Sisters used to provide when they first began doing this work as a way to educate the members about where their dollars were being invested in the community,” Lura said. “What a great experience and inspiration to see first-hand how the investment dollars are being used to benefit these organizations as they provide creative opportunities and hope to individuals.”

 

Lura Mack (third from left) and Kris Cooper (fourth from left) with staff members from the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation.

PAB Offers Resource to Help Investors Make Socially Responsible Decisions

April 4, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – Do you have a small amount of money that you would like to invest in keeping with your social values and sense of justice? Do you simply want to understand the concept of “socially responsible investing”? 

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) might be offering just what you’re seeking. In a recently posted YouTube presentation directed to small individual investors (“indies”), the PAB offers tips on such steps as setting up investment filters, taking into account such factors as which types of investments you would like to avoid and which you would like to support, as well as information on how you, the small investor, can influence the behavior of corporations. The presentation also includes links to resources that can provide deeper information in such areas as the use of mutual funds, issues that are frequently involved in the considerations of socially responsible investors, and how institutions are handling their investments.

The Adrian Dominican Sisters have been at the forefront of socially responsible investing, having established the PAB more than 40 years ago. The PAB guides the Congregation in two areas: through work as shareholders to persuade corporations to operate in a socially responsible manner, and through low-interest loans to community organizations that promote the common good of people in need throughout the world.   

Socially responsible investing has been an integral component of justice and peace work. The Adrian Dominican Sisters and about 300 organizations – members of the Interfaith Coalition on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) – strive to bring about a more sustainable and just world through their work with multinational corporations. 

Adrian Dominican Associate Dee Joyner chairs and Lura Mack directs the PAB, comprised of Sisters, Associates, and lay partners who serve on two committees: Corporate Responsibility and Community Investments. More information about the PAB can be found in the 40th anniversary publication, Adrian Dominican Sisters Portfolio Advisory Board: Celebrating 40 Years of Socially Responsible Investing.


 

 

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