On November 23rd, 150 Yale and Harvard students and alumni disrupted the Harvard-Yale Game in an unprecedented action to demand that Yale University President Salovey and Harvard University President Bacow divest their endowments from fossil fuel companies and instruct their fund managers to cancel their holdings in Puerto Rico’s debt. The action was organized jointly by the Yale Endowment Justice Coalition, made up of Fossil Free Yale, Despierta Boricua, and many other Yale and New Haven groups, with Divest Harvard. We were joined on the field by hundreds of audience members who didn’t know about the action ahead of time, but spontaneously decided to support our movement. In addition to garnering nation-wide media attention on Yale’s complicity in the climate crisis.
While Yale claims to be a leader in sustainability, it invests more than half a billion dollars of its endowment in fossil fuels, and several of its major fund managers together hold over 1 billion in Puerto Rican debt. Our university is directly funding the exacerbation in the global climate emergency, and profits from front-line communities most affected by climate disaster. The latest UN climate report says we have just 10 years to cut our emissions in half and rapidly transform our economy and society. For Yale to continue actively investing and profiting in this way is not only hypocritical but morally reprehensible and dangerous for the planet.
Support from alumni goes a long way in putting pressure on Yale to take decisive climate action, and there are many ways for alumni to get involved!