ABOUT

Fossil Free Northwestern is a group of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members calling on Northwestern University to divest its endowment from fossil fuels and reinvest in the Evanston community and in life-giving institutions. We see divestment as a tactic for moving money within the larger goal of a just transition towards a regenerative economy. 

Divestment is a tactic with a long history against injustice, including the movement to end South African apartheid, the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the Indigenous-led divestment initiative of the #NoDAPl movement to get banks and other financial institutions to stop funding the Dakota Access Pipeline. We also stand with the rich history of demands from Black abolitionists to divest from the Military and Prison Industrial Complex

We're part of an international divestment movement made up of colleges, cities, religious institutions, and more all taking action against climate change by removing funds, resources, and energy from the corporations and institutions upholding and perpetuating global racial capitalism.

 

DEMANDS

Northwestern must:

 

  1. Publicly divest its endowment from fossil fuels. 

    • Northwestern must divest its endowment, both direct and indirect holdings, from the top 100 oil and gas companies and the top 100 coal companies listed in the Carbon Underground 200. In order to achieve this, Northwestern must require all external investment managers to remove their investments in these companies, as well as halt all further investments. 

    • Investments in fossil fuels support the destruction of our climate, and they are more volatile than they appear. For both financial and ethical reasons, Northwestern should not have any holdings in the fossil fuel industry.

  2. Reinvest its endowment into the Evanston community and into life-giving institutions.

    • Replace planet-destroying fossil fuel investments with investments that benefit the Evanston community, particularly Black, Brown, and Indigenous residents who have been negatively affected by the university’s co-optation of space and refusal to pay property taxes. Northwestern should invest in reparations for Black Evanston residents and in alternative financial institutions that build community well-being and provide social, economic, and climate security for all people. 

    • Using Northwestern’s fiduciary power to invest in the world we want is the morally and socially responsible thing to do. It is imperative that Northwestern repair the damage it has inflicted and continues to inflict on communities of color, Indigenous nations, and on the Evanston community by reinvesting its 12 billion dollar endowment into those communities it has disadvantaged. 

  3. Democratize university decision-making.

    • Northwestern’s investment decisions must be transparent and accountable to all stakeholders, including students, staff, faculty, and alumni in addition to university administrators and board members. These stakeholders must have input into where the university’s money goes, both investments and budgeting decisions, and consensus-based democratic decision-making must be instituted. 

    • University administration and the board of trustees is currently made up of corporate hires with interests in fossil fuels and other industries, and there is little transparency with no real way to hold them accountable for their decisions. By instituting democratic decision-making with all key stakeholders, the university will cease to act like a business and instead put its students, employees, and constituents first.