Sanjay Kishore (Trinity ’13) became interested in issues of investment responsibility after spearheading a 2011-2012 movement against conflict-minerals on campus. In this 34-page pamphlet, he describes the history of activism on Duke’s campus and lays the foundation for how a student might challenge the investment decisions for the Duke Endowment as one way of championing social justice and change.
The endowment currently governs funds of about $5.6 billion. In order to lead a successful movement for investment responsibility, the student must first clearly and succinctly define the request, and then do research so that when the time comes to write a proposal, there is data to back it up. The third step is to spark a dialogue on campus, through a blog, a letter to the Chronicle, a club, a symposium, or something else. Finally, the student is ready to submit a request to the President’s Special Commission on Investment Responsibility (PSC), which acts as the preliminary gatekeeper for the Duke Board of Trustees. The student can lobby the Board of Trustees to perform several actions, including divesting in certain stocks, filing a shareholder or “proxy-vote” resolution, or directly engaging with the corporation”.