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Petition Calls on Harvard to Divest From the Prison Industry

Petition Calls on Harvard to Divest From the Prison Industry

“We’re really proud that so many Harvard affiliates agree with us”

Campus activists around the country routinely call on schools to divest from Israel, the fossil fuel industry and now this. It’s often nothing more than a power play to ‘make’ the school do something they want.

The Harvard Crimson reports:

Prison Divestment Advocates Rally, Deliver Petition to Harvard President Bacow

More than 100 Harvard affiliates gathered outside of Massachusetts Hall Friday to deliver a petition to University President Lawrence S. Bacow urging Harvard to disclose and divest its holdings in companies tied to the prison industry.

The rally was organized by the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign, a pro-divestment organization founded in 2018, and the Harvard Organization for Prison Education and Advocacy, along with campus groups including Act on a Dream, the Black Students Association, and the Association of Black Harvard Women.

The petition, which has garnered nearly 3500 signatures since its release last month, calls on Bacow and the Harvard Management Company — the University’s investment arm — to withdraw its investments from companies with connections to prisons and disclose these endowment holdings to the public. The petition also demands the University reinvest this money towards programs and organizations that benefit “people directly impacted by the prison-industrial complex” in Boston and Cambridge.

Dharma B. Seda Gonzalez ’22, an organizer with the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign, said the rally was a “culmination of months of work” for the students across Harvard’s schools involved in the movement.

“We’re really proud that so many Harvard affiliates agree with us and believe that Harvard should divest,” Gonzalez said in an interview before the rally.

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