Adasina’s Unwavering Stand: Addressing Global Atrocities With Social Justice Investing

At Adasina, we are heartbroken as we witness wars and campaigns of genocide spread across the globe today. We are committed to speaking out against these atrocities and standing in unity with those afflicted by violence and oppression. We are horrified by the human suffering and environmental devastation being wrought by militaries, civilian paramilitary forces, radicalized individuals, and terrorist organizations alike, including escalating aggression against advocates for the Palestinian cause and the community of peace activists worldwide.

Since Adasina’s founding, both investment industry colleagues and social justice leaders have looked to Adasina for our perspective on how public market finance intersects with social justice issues impacting the world we inhabit. We’ve received numerous questions about the terrorist and state brutality in Palestine and Israel, and we have had many conversations with clients, partners, and allies. 

In keeping with our community-centered practice of speaking plainly and directly about Social Justice Investing, and contributing to financial industry transformation through both action and education, we are publicly restating our stance here, and sharing our answers to the most common questions we receive.


Adasina’s Response to the Worsening Crisis in Palestine

From its founding as a public equities impact asset manager focused on Social Justice Investing, Adasina has consistently prioritized screening for human rights abuses, weapons of war, and racial/ethnic discrimination, among other social justice issues. 

Our commitment to exclude companies that contribute to or profit from violence and oppression is not a reaction or response to current atrocities. It is ingrained in our core values and has always been central to our investment and impact approach. We are not taking new action in response to the crisis in Palestine because this is not a new strategy for us. It is simply the way we do business – we remain true to our founding commitment and Social Justice Investing practices.

As a public equities impact asset manager with a global investment strategy, we must apply our standards consistently and universally. Adasina works to invest for racial, gender, economic, and climate justice around the world. We apply our Social Justice Investment Criteria to companies from all countries; our Racial Justice Investing Criteria include an Occupied Territories criterion that specifically identifies companies involved in state violence and human rights violations against Palestinians and other oppressed populations around the world. If you’ve been following us for a while, you might remember seeing this criterion when we first shared our Racial Justice Investor Dataset in June 2020.

Please read on to learn more about how we implement our Social Justice Investment strategy, examine our reasoning behind company-focused versus country-level exclusions, and find answers to the questions we’re getting most frequently. 

Whether you are a finance professional, an individual investor, or a private citizen, discover some of the many ways you can take action for social justice in the What Can Investors Do and Other Next Steps sections at the end of this article.

FAQ: Adasina’s Investment Perspective on Palestine

  • Do you divest from companies based in Israel?
    No. As a global public equities impact asset manager, Adasina selects investments by company practices, not location. Our investment approach was designed to drive large-scale, systemic change and to be a bridge between financial markets and social justice movements. Country-level divestment is inconsistent with our investment thesis. Adasina practices company-focused investment and exclusion because we believe that is the most effective method for advancing our global social justice and industry transformation goals.
  • How do you decide whether to invest in, or divest from, a country?
    Adasina does not screen out companies based on the countries they are located in, or participate in efforts to divest from specific countries. At Adasina, we are opposed to injustice everywhere, including human rights abuses anywhere in the world. We apply our country-agnostic  Social Justice Investment Criteria at the company level because we believe that is where public market investors have the greatest duty, interest, and power to act. If we applied our Social Justice Investment Criteria to national governments, there would be very few — if any — countries we could invest in.

  • How do you decide whether or not to invest in companies based in Israel?
    We invest in companies that pass all of our Social Justice Investment Criteria and all of our investable universe screens. We exclude from our portfolio all companies that fail any of our Social Justice Criteria. Social Justice Investment Criteria that are particularly relevant to this question include, but are not limited to:

    • Occupied Territories: Identifying companies involved in state violence and human rights violations as a part of occupations.
    • Weapons & Firearms: Identifying companies that produce military weapons or civilian firearms.

  • How does Adasina consider company location and government involvement?
    We practice a disciplined, consistent approach to investing in companies that meet our Social Justice Criteria, and to excluding those that violate those Criteria regardless of location, whether in Israel, the United States, or any other nation that infringes on human rights.

    We evaluate all companies in our portfolio based on what the company is doing, not the country in which it is headquartered or operating. Companies often act independently from their national government, whether for good or ill.

    With that said, at Adasina we take government actions into account. We recognize that national governments may influence and/or take over companies, particularly during volatile times. Our investment team is mindful of current events, and hostile government actions may prompt additional review of particular portfolio holdings in order to identify and remove companies that are doing a government’s unjust bidding.


Adasina’s Approach: How We Create Atrocity-Free Portfolios*

Adasina portfolios are also fossil fuel free, prison labor free, and otherwise consistent with social justice values.*

Adasina serves as a bridge between financial markets and social justice movements. We deeply believe in human rights and are dedicated to racial, gender, economic, and climate justice everywhere. We unequivocally oppose murder and refuse to knowingly profit from violence.

We know that some corporations commit and profit from atrocities. As a public equities impact asset manager with a global investment strategy, Adasina actively removes companies involved in state violence and human rights violations — in any country — from our portfolio. We systematically apply our Social Justice Investment Criteria to address genocide and human rights abuses by screening out public companies that are profiting from occupied territories, or involved in manufacturing weapons, citizen and immigrant surveillance, immigrant detention, and prison involvement, including the use of prison labor and funding of prisons.

Screening investments based on these criteria is a core part of our practice of Social Justice Investing. We don’t stop at our own portfolio, however. At Adasina, we believe that systemic change comes from collective action. That is why we go beyond implementing our Social Justice Investment Criteria in our own portfolios, to generate impact through investor mobilization campaigns, including by publishing investor datasets for public use. For more information, please find Occupation Involvement and other investor datasets from Adasina and our partners on the BRIDGE Justice Website, and refer to the FAQ on our Racial Justice Investor Dataset webpage.

By systematically applying our Social Justice Investment Criteria to a global equities portfolio, Adasina is able to offer investment products that proactively minimize exposure to financial and/or externality risks posed by wars, fossil fuels, weapons, prison labor, and numerous other violations of social justice principles. Our larger approach of holding corporations accountable, publishing investor datasets for anyone to use at no charge, and leading investor mobilization campaigns has proven effective in changing company policies, financial markets, and — as a result of our disciplined focus to effect change through financial markets — government policies as well.


What Can Investors Do?

  • Adasina Investors: You’re all set. Adasina portfolios were the first to use the Adasina Racial Justice Investor Dataset, so we’ve already taken care of this for you. Companies that violate any of our Social Justice Investing criteria have always been excluded from our products.
  • Institutional Investors: We invite you to review your portfolio using the Adasina Racial Justice Investor Dataset and resources on the BRIDGE Justice Website. If you hold companies flagged for violations on this or other issues, we encourage you to use your power as an investor to take action, whether to demand that the company change its behavior or exclude it from your portfolio.
  • Individual Investors: Ask your financial advisor about the companies in your investment portfolio. We encourage you to consider excluding those companies that undermine justice, and/or participate in shareholder engagement to urge companies perpetuating injustice to change their behavior through Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) or the Racial Justice Investing Coalition.
  • Everyone: Exercise your voice to advocate for an end to war and for peace and justice in all settings, everywhere.


Other Next Steps

At Adasina, we celebrate that those of us who are committed to social justice — individually and collectively — have many ways to bring governments and other power structures to account when they act in contravention of universal human rights and international law. We are also firmly convinced that we are most effective when we intervene as a community. Adasina is proud to work closely with Social Justice Partners who are leading the work of keeping governments and other institutions accountable. We encourage you to follow and consider supporting these organizations:

For more information on our approach to Social Justice Investing, please see our Invest in Justice page or check out our inaugural Impact Report, and subscribe to our mailing list to stay updated on all of our Social Justice Investing initiatives.

*Adasina strives to create atrocity-free, fossil-fuel-free, and prison-labor-free portfolios by ensuring alignment with our SJI Criteria at the time of inclusion during each JUSTICE Index reconstitution period. However, no representation is made that the methodology or ESG data provided by external data providers is accurate, complete, up-to-date, and/or continuously available.
This material was prepared by Robasciotti and Associates, Inc. dba Adasina Social Capital (“Adasina”), a Registered Investment Advisor. Transmission of the information contained herein is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a client relationship.
This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, an offer, solicitation or recommendation with respect to any transaction and should not be treated as legal advice, investment advice or tax advice. Recipients should not rely upon this information as a substitute for obtaining specific legal or tax advice from their own professional legal, investment, or tax advisors. The investor must ensure the suitability of an investment as it pertains to their financial and fiscal situation and investment objectives. Before acting on any information in this material, it is prudent to consult one’s financial advisor.
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