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Social Justice

Investing in Mke’s Underserved Community

The Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Work Group is proud to announce that First Church has signed a contract with Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) to invest in businesses or neighborhoods underserved by traditional lenders. This is not a giveaway. SRI means making money and doing good.

At General Assembly last year, Trent Muller, Bruce Wiggins, and Cheri Briscoe attended workshops on SRI. One workshop emphasized investments local congregations could make in underserved communities. We also learned about the UU Common Endowment Fund’s (UUCEF) matching program.

Investments up to $10,000 will be matched by our national association, through the UUCEF. Thus, the UUCEF will lend the same amount to WWBIC, doubling our impact!

We presented the concept to the Finance Team and Social Justice Council. Both endorsed the idea. We then formed a workgroup including Mary Devitt, Jerry Fredricksen, Noreen Gilbertsen, and Ron Oshima as representatives from these two teams, plus at-large members Cheri Briscoe and Fred Gutierrez. The workgroup drafted a Socially Responsible Investment Policy (for all church finances), which included procedures for making community investments. Our Board of Trustees adopted the policy.

After deeper research, the work group concluded that Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) is the vehicle most able to meet our goals. You can learn about WWBIC at the Sunday Forum on April 25, 11:00 a.m. where WWBIC representatives and SRI Work Group members will speak.

Find out more about WWBIC at the Sunday Forum and here: https://www.wwbic.com/.

Our check has been delivered to WWBIC and the UUA will be sending its check soon. Contact Trent Muller if you’re interested in finding out more about the SRI policy and procedures.

Cheri Briscoe, Socially Responsible Investing Work Group

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