The Freedom Economy:
A Legal Network & Community for
Justice & Sustainability Investors

This message is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not represent and should not be interpreted as legal, financial, or tax advice.

A New Chapter for DEI, ESG & Impact Investing

DEI, ESG, and impact investors are powerful social and economic actors that have significantly advanced social justice and sustainability by taking bold action. As described in our article, Standing Up for DEI, ESG & Impact Investing, in recent years, investors have been increasingly effective at their work and achieved significant wins.

Now, these very same investors are facing unprecedented legal attacks from a small set of reactionary actors attempting to reverse decades of hard-won social and environmental progress.1 Many believe these attacks are a brutal reaction to the real progress investors are making to advance racial, gender, economic, and climate justice. The attacks appear designed to undermine investors’ freedoms, both to act individually and collectively and to use investments to make progress on justice and sustainability issues.

Today, Adasina announces the Freedom Economy,2 a new membership organization launched in coalition alongside other DEI, ESG, and impact investing leaders, with a critical mission — to equip investors with the legal support they need to continue boldly pursuing justice and sustainability. The organization will provide proactive legal resources and a community of support for values-aligned investors, reflecting the sentiment of the majority of Americans who believe DEI, ESG, and impact investing provide a critical path toward equity and justice for all.3

At Adasina, we believe now is not the time to back down on DEI, ESG, and impact investing initiatives— the recent legal attacks and reactionary efforts are a meaningful sign of our progress.4 Now is the time to move boldly forward. Our economy, democracy, and world depend on it.

There Is No “Backlash”

We and others have previously referred to recent legal attacks on justice and sustainability investors as a “backlash.” But, as this article from a community member insightfully explains, “The definition of a backlash is a strong and adverse reaction by a large number of people, especially to a social or political development.” 

This definition of backlash is not what we are experiencing. DEI policies remain broadly popular,5 and a recent study demonstrates a clear trend towards ESG investments, with a substantial portion of both consumers and investors recognizing their significance in decision-making.6

While investors are currently experiencing an unprecedented level of legal attacks, these attacks do not signal a backlash against investing for justice and sustainability. A small minority seeking to maintain power in the face of social progress might more accurately be called a reactionary retaliation against widespread social and economic progress.

How Will the Freedom Economy Support Investors?

A Legal Resource Network

The Freedom Economy’s first initiative will be its Legal Resource Network. This network will provide investors with the tools they need to continue taking bold action for a more just and sustainable economy, country, and world by:

  1. Resourcing Investors (giving them what they need to be bold)
  2. Representing Investors (taking bold action on their behalf)
  3. Resourcing Legal Actors (giving them what they need to win)

Who Can Join?

The Freedom Economy is open to justice and sustainability investors spanning the following roles:

  • Asset Managers, including those in public and private markets
  • Asset Allocators, including investment advisors and consultants
  • Asset Owners, including foundations, endowments, individuals, and nonprofit organizations with values-aligned investment assets
  • Service Providers, including for-profit and nonprofit organizations providing data and support for investor activism

Membership Benefits & Fees

Investors benefit in a variety of ways through membership in the Freedom Economy and participation in the Legal Resource Network. Among the most valuable member benefits are access to:

  • Legal best practices for investors
  • A community of practice for investors and general counsels
  • Referrals to networked legal counsel, both paid and pro bono

Members are asked to pay annual fees designed to be accessible for all investors. Membership fees are based on a combination of assets managed, advised, or owned, and the organization’s number of employees. With justice and sustainability at its core, the Freedom Economy will ensure that resources are available at low or no cost for investor organizations that are too often excluded, and often led by BIPOC and/or women and gender-expansive leaders. For additional information on membership, please visit the Freedom Economy website.

Investor Next Steps

In the face of unprecedented legal attacks on DEI, ESG, and impact investing, Adasina pledged to listen and act. The Freedom Economy fulfills that promise, in the form of an independent organization to serve the legal needs of justice and sustainability investors. We ask our community to support us and this effort in two ways:

The Freedom Economy doesn’t just represent an ideal; it is a robust action plan and  rallying point for anyone who focuses their investments on seeking a just and sustainable future. The power of our community cannot be overstated: at Adasina, we believe it is the engine of real and lasting progress.

We stand at a juncture of monumental opportunity. We hear the clarion call for those who recognize the power of action and the imperatives of our time. Now, more than ever, it’s time to double down on our commitments to stand for what is right. Join us in securing the landscape of a truly free and equitable economy.

This message is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not represent and should not be interpreted as legal, financial, or tax advice.


  1. Kenneth P. Vogel, Leonard Leo Pushed the Courts Right. Now He’s Aiming at American Society, The New York Times (October 12, 2022).
  2. The “Freedom Economy” is used here to refer to the Freedom Economy Business Association.
  3. Morning Consult, Public Private Strategies Institute, Survey: Business Leaders and Diversity Initiatives, (February, 2024).
  4. John S. Huntington and Lawrence Glickman, America’s Most Destructive Habit, The Atlantic (November 7, 2021).
  5. Michael Tesler, Americans support DEI – for now, at least | Good Authority, Good Authority (January 8, 2024).
  6. Morning Consult, Survey: Business Leaders, (February, 2024).

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