Office of Media Relations
Brown Votes to Divest from Sudan in Response to Genocide
Brown University's governing board voted to divest the University from companies supporting and facilitating the Sudanese government in its continuing sponsorship of genocidal actions and human rights violations in Darfur.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Brown Corporation, Brown University’s governing board, voted at its Feb. 25, 2006, meeting to divest from companies whose business activities can be shown to be supporting and facilitating the Sudanese government in its continuing sponsorship of genocidal actions and human rights violations in Darfur. The University will exclude from its direct investments – and require the University’s separate account managers to exclude from their direct investments – any such companies. In addition, the Investment Office will share with all investment managers the University’s desire to adhere to this investment philosophy.
“This is a critically important and strong statement by the University community regarding our abhorrence of the genocidal actions being supported and undertaken by the Sudanese government,” said Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons. “We declare our solidarity with the peoples of the Darfur region of Sudan whose struggle to live in peace, freedom and security is an issue of pressing global concern.”
Last summer, Simmons requested the students, faculty and alumni who comprise the Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investing (ACCRI) to review the situation in Sudan. The committee, along with Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (STAND), conducted extensive research and submitted sets of recommendations to Simmons urging divestiture of companies doing business in the region, with the exception of those whose activities are of humanitarian importance. Simmons commended the work of both groups on this important issue.
The ACCRI believes this step will help end a humanitarian crisis. The group states, “Precedents suggest that there is a real possibility the signal sent by Brown and other organizations will lead some of the companies concerned to suspend their operations, that difficulty raising capital will slow the growth of operations of other such companies, and that the resulting slow-down in economic growth and in growth of government revenue will encourage the Sudanese government to change its behavior.”
Simmons said the administration will proceed to assemble and provide information to the Corporation’s Advisory and Executive Committee regarding companies whose business activities in Sudan can be shown to meet the criteria of supporting and facilitating the Sudanese government in its continuing sponsorship of genocidal actions and human rights violations in Darfur. It is anticipated that as circumstances and events in that region of the world unfold, the list of companies excluded from direct investment will need to be monitored and may be subject to change. The administration and ACCRI will monitor the situation and make recommendations, as necessary, to the Advisory and Executive Committee.