By The New Sanctuary Coalition, NYC
We denounce MoMA’s connections to mass incarceration, global dispossession and climate catastrophe, and demand that MoMA’s Board member Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, divest from prison companies, the war machine and the destruction of the global environment. Stopping the global cycles of dispossession, displacement and detention, and reinvesting in the basic necessities of food, shelter, health and freedom are the best ways to ensure that communities worldwide thrive.
MoMA Board member and CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink, is the 2nd largest shareholder of prison companies, GEO Group and Core Civic. With over $2 billion in contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), these companies have been responsible for 70% of all immigration detention including caged children and families separated at the border as well as in the interior. MoMA’s own pension fund, Fidelity, is also one of the largest owners of these private prison companies. P Prison companies are a part of the racist state-sanctioned carceral system of the U.S., which has made the country the largest jailer in the world, placing a massively disproportionate number of black and brown people behind bars.
BlackRock also owns billions of dollars in shares of weapons manufacturers. The company has more money invested in the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries – the biggest drivers of climate change – than any other company in the world. Despite their severe threat to the planet, BlackRock continues to invest in tar sands, coal, Arctic oil, Amazon crude, and rainforest destruction.
We demand that MoMA board member Larry Fink begin by divesting all assets from GEO Group and Core Civic.
Divestment is possible. New York City’s pension fund has divested! Even JP Morgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have agreed to cut loans to these companies.
Larry Fink has stated that he wants to hold companies accountable for being “responsible corporate citizens.” This can be achieved by removing funds from prison slavery and supporting campaigns such as No New Jails’ push to close Rikers and block the promotion of new borough-based cages. MoMA has spent over half a billion dollars to remake its image and its building in midtown Manhattan. We suggest instead that funds be redistributed towards alternative models of well-being, community-based creativity, sanctuary, land restitution/defense for indigenous people, and the material improvement of dispossessed communities worldwide.
MoMA’s director Glenn Lowry has said that the renovations will help us “explore the ideas that shape our world and find inspiration in the art of our time.” Indeed, this is the time and these are the moments that define us as individuals and as a society. MoMA can choose to be defined by its silence over mass incarceration, climate change and global dispossession. We choose not to.
Again, we demand that Larry Fink and the MOMA board divest their funds from prison companies. We demand that Larry Fink & all MoMA board members disclose any & all additional prison slavery-involved investments. We ask that they meet with concerned artists, community leaders, immigrant rights organizations, and detainees to hear the real story about the shares they own and how these funds should be redistributed.
- We will mobilize on Friday, October 18 at 6:30 pm at the MoMA as it celebrates its $500 million re-opening!
- Join us to support the push to divest from the carceral state and reinvest in communities at: The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, New York Visit