History of the Corporate Responsibility Program
The Benedictine Sisters began their work in corporate responsibility in 1982 as a founding member of the Texas Coalition for Responsible Investment (Texas CRI). The Sisters joined the national group, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), in 1990 and formed their own corporate responsibility program at that time. In 2003, the Sisters were instrumental in the establishment of the Benedictine Coalition for Responsible Investment. Currently, 26 Benedictine monasteries in the United States and Mexico – as well as a partner community (the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas) – are working together to make a difference through shareholder action and networking.
The Corporate Responsibility Program addresses actions and behaviors of the corporations in which the Benedictine Sisters hold stock.
The program uses the power of stock ownership to raise critical issues of our day with management, workers, boards of directors and the public.
Some of the issues raised, using resolutions and dialogue, include:
- Human rights policies and policy implementation
- Pay disparity between executives and lowest-paid workers
- Access to and affordability of health care
- Working conditions, especially in foreign factories supplying US goods
- Diversity on corporate boards of directors
- Antibiotics in the food supply chain
- Drug pricing, especially as it affects access to medicines
- The human right to water as it relates to corporate pollution and overuse
- Ecological issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, the implications of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), transparency regarding toxins and carcinogens in products and climate change and its impact on the most vulnerable.
Sr. Susan Mika is the Director of the Benedictine Sisters Corporate Responsibility Program and the Benedictine Coalition for Responsible Investment. The Sisters’ involvement in Corporate Responsibility gives them a direct voice to be engaged in the pressing concerns of our time which affect quality of life in our local, national and global communities.
In Laudato Sí, Pope Francis challenges each of us to hear both “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” (#50) This commitment by the community addresses both.
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News Articles on Key Issues
Sr. Susan Mika, Director of the Benedictine Sisters’ Corporate Responsibility Program, works with the Benedictine Coalition for Responsible Investment. Sister Susan will write regularly on our website to provide information, updates, news, and alerts about social justice concerns.
Read or Download News Articles on Key Issues in Immigration
About Sr. Susan Mika, OSB
Susan Mika, OSB, a Benedictine Sister of Boerne, TX, is the director of the Benedictine Coalition for Responsible Investment (CRI) where she speaks to corporations about their practices, attends shareholder meetings and files shareholder resolutions urging companies to adopt more just policies. She also assists in documenting what is happening with current U.S. immigration policies as part of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition (IWC) in San Antonio. Sister Susan has served in monastery leadership and on the board of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), based in New York. She has long been a voice for peace and justice in the San Antonio area.