Why we are joining the growing movement to divest from banks that support the DAPL
EcoViva is joining thousands of people and institutions, including the cities of Seattle, Davis, and Alameda, in severing ties with Wells Fargo Bank. We want our finances to contribute to positive change, not destructive development projects, and so we are choosing to do business with a bank that better reflects our values.
EcoViva is dedicated to environmental protection and sustainable development in Central America. Our work supports grassroots struggles against climate change and for clean water, healthy forests, sustainable livelihoods, and vibrant communities.
We have had a banking relationship with Wells Fargo Bank for several years.The bank assisted us in our grantmaking through low-cost wire transfers to our partners in Central America. However, Wells Fargo’s portfolio of financial relationships has included backing corporations that are involved in environmentally destructive practices such as mountaintop removal coal mining and fossil fuel transport schemes including the Keystone Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Massive and sustained demonstrations led by the Standing Rock tribes and others in the last year brought these activities to light. They also highlighted the need to stop supporting harmful projects through our bank accounts.
Our commitment to a healthy environment and respect for the rights of indigenous people is incompatible with Wells Fargo Bank’s values and actions. We can no longer bank with a financial institution that places profits over the rights of marginalized communities and our planet’s climate.
To that end we are transferring our funds to Beneficial State Bank, a company that recognizes that investing in communities is good for job growth, and that transitioning to a sustainable economy means weaning us from our dependence on fossil fuels. We will bank with an institution that shares our principles of promoting sustainable and dignified livelihoods, human rights, and clean water and air both locally around the world. In addition, we will bank with an institution that will offer competitive rates for a comparable service.
Here at EcoViva we choose a bank according to our values and we will continue to be responsible stewards of our donors’ financial support.
Water is Life.
⇒ In the interest of full disclosure, our Board member Salvador Menjivar is Executive Director of the Beneficial State Foundation. Beneficial State Foundation and Beneficial State Bank are separate entities. Nevertheless, Salvador recused himself from the decisionmaking process on our banking relationships.