Investing in Racial Equity: A Primer for University & College Endowments

Investing in Racial Equity: A Primer for University & College Endowments

A report from Commonfund and the Commonfund Institute offers guidance for fiduciaries of university endowments — as well as tools, products and best practices — with respect to investing in racial equity. The report, Investing in Racial Equity: A Primer for University & College Endowments (40 pages, PDF), outlines how racial equity investing offers higher education leaders an opportunity to not only educate students of color, but to invest in them, and in their futures and communities, while providing a financial return to investors. According to the report, a clear commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) from university leadership and stakeholders, including endowment managers, also strengthens institutional resilience and relevance, as the issues that impact the lives of the majority of high school students today are likely to affect the endowment performance and business models of higher education institutions tomorrow. In terms of an "action plan," the report urges higher education leaders to make racial equity a subject of discussion at investment committee meetings, conduct bias training for all endowment managers, and diversify boards and investment committees; build consensus around racial equity goals, investment strategies, and next steps; update investment policy statements to reflect DEI priorities; allocate investments to racially diverse consultants and asset management firms; engage in shareholder and policy advocacy; and support accountability and transparency. 

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