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Socially Responsible Investment Coalition To Examine Corporate Governance Amid Growing Wall St. Scandals

Published 08-19-02

Submitted by Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

NEW YORK, New York - As part of its engagement with the marketplace and the media, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), the New York-based coalition of faith-based groups committed to socially responsible investing, announced its 16th annual educational forum. Scheduled to take place at Chelsea Piers in New York City on September 19, this year¹s invitational event will focus on issues of corporate governance in light of current scandals involving publicly traded companies and their accounting firms.

According to Sr. Patricia Wolf, RSM, Executive Director of ICCR, "Blueprint for Change:

Corporate Governance for the Future" will feature four experts on the development and practice of justice-oriented policies. Panel moderator will be Bill Bell, special features writer, New York Daily News. "Issues of corporate governance touch on more than the creation of wealth," said Sr. Patricia. "They relate to labor conditions, worker equity, the use of our environment, and more open and democratic forms of decisionmaking. When companies focus on all aspects of growth and welcome shareholder participation," she continued, "socially responsible outcomes are possible. The corporate environment today is ripe for this kind of refocusing."

In their effort to expand the definition of corporate wealth, members of the 30-year-old ICCR advocate for shareholder resolutions that protect human rights and environmental resources. ICCR¹s seminar will offer perspectives on how the corporate world is responding to the faith community¹s call to justice. "More than any other sector," says Sr. Patricia, "the corporate world determines the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places where we live and work. ICCR believes that social and environmental values are also part of a company¹s bottom line. Our seminar will explore these topics with some of the best professional minds from business and academia."

Panelists at ICCR¹s seminar on corporate governance will include:

- Ken Bertsch, Director of Corporate Governance at TIAA-CREF, a financial services organization, institutional investor, and the world¹s largest private retirement system with some $275 billion in assets under management.

- Gwenn Carr, attorney, Vice President and Secretary to the Board, MetLife; also responsible for the operations of MetLife¹s Shareholder Services.

- Bari-Ellen Roberts, former Vice President, Texaco, and lead plaintiff in the largest discrimination lawsuit in history. She is the author of Roberts vs. Texaco: A True Story of Race and Corporate America; and currently heads Bari-Ellen Roberts, Inc., a management training company. Ms. Roberts also teaches a course on corporate social responsibility at Fairfield University¹s School of Business.

- Harry Van Buren, visiting instructor in organizational behavior and business strategy at the University of Northern Iowa. Mr. Van Buren is also staff consultant to the Episcopal Church¹s Social Responsibility in Investments Program.

Past participants at ICCR¹s educational programs have included Marian Wright Edelman, founder and President of the Children¹s Defense Fund; former Labor Secretary Robert Reich; and Amy Domini, founder and President of Domini Social Equity Fund.

ICCR is a coalition of 275 faith-based institutional investors, including denominations, religious orders, pension funds, healthcare corporations, foundations, publishing companies, and dioceses. Their combined portfolios are valued at over $110 billion.

ICCR was founded in 1971 when members of the clergy questioned whether churches were profiting from the Vietnam War through their investments. Since then, ICCR has come to public prominence through its campaign against irresponsible infant formula marketing, which led to the Nestlé boycott. ICCR members gained international attention once again for their efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. Today, in steadily growing numbers, individual and institutional investors collaborate with ICCR on corporate social and environmental responsibility campaigns. Current initiatives include the campaign to end predatory lending practices in the U.S., environmental clean-up of New York¹s Hudson River, an end to global warming; and support for the global anti-sweatshop movement.

Editors: To schedule interviews with Sr. Patricia Wolf, RSM, Executive Director of ICCR, and panelists at "Corporate Governance for the Future," and to register for the seminar, "Corporate Governance for the Future," contact Norma Vavolizza or Jeff Fogliano at 212-687-0607 or write

Visit to:

- Learn more about the work of ICCR and its current shareholder resolutions.
- Register online for "Corporate Governance for the Future."

Please save the date: September 19, 2002

What: Annual ICCR benefit event; "Blueprint for Change: Corporate Governance for the Future"
$25 student seminar attendance fee. Student price does not include reception attendance.

Where: The Lighthouse, Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, New York City

When: Thursday, September 19, 4:00 pm, Reception follows at 6:15 pm

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) logo

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility is a 35-year-old international coalition of 275 faith-based institutional investors including denominations, religious communities, pension funds, healthcare corporations, foundations and dioceses with combined portfolios worth an estimated $110 billion. ICCR seeks to build a more just and sustainable society by integrating social values into corporate and investor decisions. ICCR is one of the foremost shareholder advocacy organizations in the world. More detailed information about shareholder resolutions is available from ICCR's Ethvest (sm), the comprehensive, on-line, subscription-based, ethical investor database,

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