Racial Justice & Investing- A Year in Review

In the summer of 2020, we first publicized our Racial Justice Investor Dataset – a list of public companies that fail to meet Adasina’s Racial Justice Investment Criteria. The reach of that list was more extensive than we ever anticipated. This month we celebrate the anniversary of the original publication with a look back on the impact of this list over the last year, the changes it inspired, and share important new additions to the dataset.

How it Started

Advancing racial justice through investments has always been a core tenant of Adasina’s work, even for years prior through our former firm, Robasciotti & Philipson. However, in June 2020 during the days following George Floyd’s murder and the public awakening around anti-Black racism, we decided to go even further by publishing our Racial Justice Investor Dataset- a list of public companies that fail to meet our Racial Justice Investment Criteria.

Financial firms typically safeguard as much proprietary information about portfolio construction as possible, but in keeping with our social justice values, we chose to make the data public in hopes of providing a tool that enabled the investment industry to act in solidarity with movements for racial justice. Sharing information and resources across typically siloed groups is a common social justice strategy to increase the impact of a movement. Now we look back on the reach and impact of that choice over the last year.

A Year in Review: Reach, Impact, and Updates to the Racial Justice Investor Dataset

  • June 2020: Adasina, then Robasciotti & Philipson, publishes an article called Stop Funding Systemic Racism. This List Can Help., which included a list of approximately 100 companies funding systemic racism, along with citations and methodology for relevant Racial Justice Investment Criteria.
  • November 2020: Adasina advises on the launch of Prison Free Funds from As You Sow, a racial justice screening tool that allows investors to check their funds for investments in the prison and border industries.
  • December 2020: Adasina launches The Adasina Social Justice All Cap Global ETF (Ticker Symbol: JSTC), a highly diversified, global, all-cap portfolio that includes our Racial Justice Investment Criteria, along with other social justice metrics, and allows investors to align their portfolios with social justice values. The ETF integrates the Racial Justice Investor Dataset along with all of Adasina’s social justice data.
  • January 2021: The positive reception to the Racial Justice Investor Dataset inspires Adasina to publicize other impact datasets as well. Three of the 63 total datasets Adasina uses for evaluating racial, gender, economic, and climate justice are now available to the public, at no cost.
  • May 2021: Adasina expands its Racial Justice Investment Criteria in alignment with social justice movements, by adding data on companies that own bonds of private prison companies as a metric for Prison Funding to both the Adasina Social Justice Index (Index Ticker: JUSTICE) and Adasina ETF (JSTC).
  • August 2021: Today Adasina releases an updated version of the public Racial Justice Investor Dataset which includes the new data from May 2021 (on private prison bond investment) and an updated list of company practices and methodology.

The two most common questions we receive:

From Investors: “How can I invest like this?”

  • Talk to your financial advisor about how you’re invested.
    Consider excluding companies on the list from your investment portfolio or conducting shareholder engagement to urge them to end racially unjust practices. You can also tell your advisor about Adasina’s work and our ETF.

From Financial Professionals: “How can we support your work?”

We know many investors and advisors use this free, public data to inform their decisions and we are grateful to see wide adoption. We recognize that it is unusual to freely share data in our industry. One of our four levers of change is Education, and we consider this data a critical educational tool. If you want to support our work, we welcome you to sign our Investor Statements and add the Adasina ETF to your investment portfolios and institutional platforms.

For ongoing news and updates about Adasina’s work, including our Impact Datasets, subscribe to our newsletter here.

For more information about the history and impact of the original Racial Justice Investor Dataset, check out the articles below:



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