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Addressing Injustice and Racial Inequity Through Intentional Impact Investing

SOCAP Global December 1, 2021

From SOCAP21: Power, Risk, and Justice: A Model for Investors to Advance Racial Equity

“Our question as investors is: How do we undo centuries of compounding injustice?” — Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, President & CEO, CapEQ

Investors and business leaders are increasingly realizing the need to address deep economic inequities created by centuries of systemic racism. These gaps are evident in the financial world as well as in everyday life: Less than 1.3% of the $69 trillion in global assets are managed by women and People of Color, and only 1% of total assets are managed by Black people. In the United States — the wealthiest nation in the world — 100 million people are living in or near poverty, including half of all People of Color. 

Investors looking to advance racial equity through their practices and portfolios can turn to tools and collaborations to amplify their impact and advance a more just and inclusive economy. During the SOCAP21 session, “Power, Risk, and Justice: A Model for Investors to Advance Racial Equity,” the PolicyLink, CapEQ, and GIIN teams launched a powerful model for how investors can and must reconsider their decision-making power, their perceptions of risk, and how to promote equitable outcomes in their work. 

The prototype of the IRIS+ Racial Equity theme is a timely tool designed to help investors act on their good intentions, said Amit Bouri, CEO of The Global Impact Investing Network. 

“This work comes at an important time, when investors and companies are paying more attention to these issues. My hope is that together we can translate that attention and that intention into tangible results,” Bouri said. “If we want a more just, equitable, and sustainable economy, we have to change the way that we invest.”

The IRIS+ Racial Equity theme has three strategic goals — Shifting Power, Redefining Risk, and Promoting Racial Justice — that are complementary and mutually reinforcing, shared Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, President & CEO of CapEQ. 

“Integrating racial equity into investment strategies requires persistence and deep commitment both organizationally and personally,” said Boyea-Robinson, noting that these goals apply to all investors, not just those with a focus on ESG.

The IRIS+ Racial Equity theme serves as a call to action and guide to help investors intentionally integrate racial equity awareness and action both as an emergent process and an outcome, she said. Its resources and recommendations are informed by the work of many actors, including some who have worked on racial equity for decades.

Quick-action discussions during the session addressed the purpose and meaning behind the three strategies. Each featured a “conversation catalyst” who shared tangible steps their organization has taken to advance the goal:

  • Power: Catherine Burnett, Chief Impact Officer, Phillips Foundation
  • Risk: Nick Jean-Baptiste, Founder and Managing Partner, Jacmel Growth Partners
  • Justice: JaNay Queen Nazaire, Senior Fellow, PolicyLink

Watch Power, Risk, and Justice: A Model for Investors to Advance Racial Equity

Presenters

Mahlet Getachew, Managing Director, Corporate Racial Equity, PolicyLink

Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, President & CEO, CapEQ

Amit Bouri, CEO, The Global Impact Investing Network

Conversation Catalysts

Catherine Burnett, Chief Impact Officer, Phillips Foundation

Nick Jean-Baptiste, Founder and Managing Partner, Jacmel Growth Partners

JaNay Queen Nazaire, Senior Fellow, PolicyLink

Learn more about impact investing and find innovative examples of impact investing at work on our page “What Is Impact Investing?

Impact Investing
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