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In 1971 the Episcopal Church presented a shareholder resolution before General Motors concerned about the company’s involvement in South Africa. Prior to this, if corporate actions concerned faith-based institutions or investors, the financial managers were directed to divest of the stock. By 1970 churches realized that rather than divest of stock, engaging corporate management in various concerns held the hope for change in corporate behavior. With growing concerns about human rights, women and people of color in the workplace, the environment, and a general concern about the result of some corporate behavior, faith-based institutional investors decided to work together.
Faith-based pension funds, retirement funds and endowment funds in the United States were established in different formats. While the denominations were national organizations, each Roman Catholic diocese and Congregation of Sisters, Priests and Brothers were autonomous. In an effort to successfully work together in an interfaith setting, coalitions of Catholic organizations were founded in an effort to facilitate the work of smaller institutions and insure that the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) was not overwhelmed with Catholics!
Founded in 1975 the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment was one of the first Catholic Coalitions founded in the United States and remains the largest. As Catholic Congregations of Sisters, Priests and Brothers experience serious constraints both in personnel and finances, the Tri-State CRI members continue to see the work of corporate responsibility as critical to their own mission as religious. CRI members continue to look to new ways to enable the members to stay active as concerns about the negative effects of globalization grow.
The Tri-State Coalition celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2010.