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Divest/Invest Conference

Acting on Pope Francis' Call: Divestment and Investment in Care for Our Common Home

NOVEMBER 5-7, 2015
University of Dayton River Campus

In his compelling encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis states that climate change “represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.” He calls for bold action locally and globally, at both the personal and institutional levels. While the encyclical documents human responsibility for climate change and its grave consequences for the earth and for the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people, the Pope also offers words of hope about prospects for reconciliation and renewal, calling us to hear “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” and “to work together in building our common home.”

The conference at the University of Dayton engages Pope Francis’ call to action by convening representatives of diverse Catholic institutions—colleges and universities, health care systems, social service and relief agencies, and religious orders—to discuss the practical implications of the Church’s teaching and of the climate crisis for institutional investment practices. Catholic institutions who have committed to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in renewable energy solutions will be highlighted.

Issues to be addressed in conference panels include:

  • Theological and ethical underpinnings of divest/invest initiatives
  • Strategies for engaging senior institutional leadership and governing boards
  • Financial mechanics of fossil fuel divestment and investment opportunities in renewable energy access
  • Lessons being learned in the student divestment movement
  • Communication and media strategies for divestment
  • Ecumenical coalitions for institutional responses to climate change and energy access

While the conference will take Catholic social teaching as being especially instructive for decisions about climate justice and fossil fuel divestment, those from other religious traditions and those who embrace a wholly secular perspective are warmly invited to participate.


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Hanley Sustainability Institute

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2950