Divestment is the act of selling all of one’s shares of a company or industry for a political or social reason. Through divestment, an investor can reprimand irresponsible corporations. In the 1980s, students witnessed the brutal apartheid regime in South Africa that institutionalized racism and worked to strip people of color of inherent human rights. While much of the world stood still, college students across the United States refused to do so. They sprang
into action with a divestment movement, encouraging their universities to withdraw financial support from a system that is morally reprehensible. By transforming stock dependent on South Africa into a moral pariah, the divestment movement contributed to a larger international movement that eventually toppled the apartheid regime.
Fossil Fuel Divestment
The campaign to divest coal at the University of Illinois began in fall 2011. With Bill McKibben’s “Do the Math” tour, the movement with two other schools working on divestment in 2011 has grown to over 500 active campaigns today.
To learn more about the climate crisis: