Presbyterian Church Cultivates Intentional Corporate Diversity

Source: Presbyterian Mission

The  A Corp Board of Presbyterian Church, USA continued to move towards racial reconciliation with the announcement that at its April board meeting the church will be hearing presentations from minority investment firms as an intentional effort to diversify its portfolio and support minority business.

(A Corp is the principal holder of the Presbyterian Church, USA’s congregational assets and real estate.)

Kathy Lueckert, President of the Presbyterian Church, USA, said the decision emerged in response to questioning as to why the A Corp was not in Black and brown institutions. “Good question,” Lueckert replied, “and I didn’t have a really good answer,” she told the board.

Presented with several options, Lueckert and the board hope its decision will demonstrate the church’s intentional desire to be a reflection of the kingdom of God inclusive of all people.

She acknowledged the board would also be reviewing bids from companies that have a good track record in diversity and inclusion with African American and other minorities in senior leadership positions serving as fund managers.

“The investment industry is not particularly diverse,” Lueckert said. “To have a fund with fund managers who are people of color is attractive to me and others.”

One of the companies currently being considered is New Covenant Trust Company, a subsidiary of the Presbyterian Foundation. Another strong contender is rumored to be Northern Trust Corp which has several African American fund managers.

As the board moves forward it will have to wrestle with potential entanglements that include meeting General Assembly (the governing body of the church) requirements for investments, including the divestment and proscription list maintained by the Committee on Mission Responsibility.

One board member, Rev. Dr. Cynthia Campbell said, “I am really intrigued by the proposals. My initial reaction is it’s good to start small.”

“I think this is a great start,” said Board Member Tom McNeill.

During the deliberation process in anticipation of its April board meeting, A Corp hopes to continue a dialogue on the importance of diversity and inclusion and how it can meet the high standards set by Christ.

Source: Presbyterian Mission