Like many around the globe, I was horrified and saddened by the tragic murders of 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown by a man using a military-style assault weapon. I am an educator and a parent: this hit home for me in excruciating ways.
Along with many other educators, my retirement investments are managed by TIAA-CREF, a not-for-profit company that is the largest provider of financial services to American teachers, librarians, and cultural and medical workers. Imagine my shock and dismay, therefore, when I realized that my own retirement funds were being invested in Smith & Wesson and in Sturm, Ruger, two companies that manufacture versions of the same AR15 semiautomatic rifle used to take so many lives in Newtown—and used, also, in the massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
On its website, TIAA-CREF proclaims, "We hold ourselves to a higher standard." Let us demand that TIAA-CREF honor its stated commitment to "doing right, which is fundamental to our commitment to integrity, service and customer relationships."
We are calling on TIAA-CREF to “do right” in this post-Newtown moment. Private equity giant Cerberus Capital Management has already acted to divest from gun companies, citing the massacre of 20 students and 6 educators at Sandy Hook School as "a watershed event." Yet TIAA-CREF, despite its commitment to “doing right,” has failed to take a stand.
We call on TIAA-CREF to divest itself immediately of its holdings in Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Tell TIAA-CREF: Stop Investing in Assault Weapons! Please join me in sending TIAA-CREF a clear message by signing this petition and circulating it to your colleagues and friends. Thank you!