On July 25, 2023, Dominican Sister of Hope Margaret Anderson, OP was voted onto the Board of Trustees of the Investor Advocates for Social Justice (IASJ). Formerly the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment (Tri-CRI), the organization was founded in 1975 by Catholic congregations involved in the movement to encourage corporations to leave apartheid South Africa.

IASJ advocates on behalf of investors with faith-based values to promote human rights, climate justice, racial equity, and the common good on behalf of their Affiliate investors, one of whom is the Dominican Sisters of Hope.

Sister Margaret has long been familiar with the group; she has been attending their meetings periodically since 1993. When she was invited to the board, she was happy to accept.

“It’s something that can cause systemic change,” she said.

Sister Margaret is energized by the diversity of the Board: its members are of various ethnicities, races, ages, and religions. While they’re all faith-based, they’re not all Catholic. Yet, they share one commonality: enthusiasm for the work they’re doing.

“The staff is on top of the issues that need to be addressed with the major corporations that the Affiliates invest in,” Sister Margaret said. “For example, if we invested in electric car manufacturers and had a shareholder resolution presented, they would do that on our behalf. They’re well informed. They will be our voice at the corporate table and to see that this legacy continues on.”

Environmental pollution is one of many issues that IASJ tackles. According to the IASJ website, former IASJ Director Pat Daly, OP was a pioneer in urging companies to clean up pollution and take accountability for their environmental impacts. In the 1980’s and 90’s, IASJ affiliates filed resolutions with Amoco, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chevron, Dow, DuPont, GTE, and McDonald’s on their environmental track records.

In response to radiation contamination in Texas, IASJ filed a resolution with Chevron requesting that the company clean up uranium mine tailings that had contaminated soil and water. In the 1990’s, IASJ was a major player in encouraging General Electric to take responsibility for 1.3 billion pounds of PCB contamination in the Hudson River.

Now, Sister Margaret hopes that IASJ will call accountable car manufacturers and mining companies to be fair to the indigenous people on whose land they mine lithium.

“They’re going into their land and destroying their land and their health,” Sister Margaret said. “It’s a system of going into these people’s land and taking over land, contaminating air, violating their rights, and putting their health at risk.”

For their part, IASJ is up to the task.

“They’re not afraid to confront people,” Sister Margaret said. “My hope is that they continue to use their voice to confront corporations, especially in regard to human rights abuses.”

Sister Margaret’s term on the Board of Trustees runs three years with the possibility of renewal.