This April, RI@Harvard will be bringing two organizers from Corrientes, Argentina to Harvard Yard for the SHAME Tour and Week of Action — to Stop Harvard’s Argentina Mismanagement and Exploitation!
Over the course of the week, the two delegates from Corrientes will be speaking to student groups, Harvard administrators, and student leaders about their experiences living under the shadow of Harvard’s plantations. We will mobilize for a rally in Harvard Yard and deepen our relationships with allies in Argentina.
Please see the full Schedule for the Week.
Background: Harvard in Ibera Campaign
In spring 2013, RI@H launched the responsible ownership campaign to hold Harvard accountable for the ethical practices of the companies it owns fully as part of its endowment. In particular, we have worked in solidarity with local organizers in Corrientes, Argentina affected by Harvard’s timber plantations there. So far, the RI@H Coalition has published an investigative report, produced a mini-documentary, organized a petition, held four demonstrations, delivered letters to Harvard administrators, and met with Drew Faust, Jameela Pedicini, and Kate Murtagh.
Harvard’s Chief Compliance Officer Kate Murtagh responded with three different letters: 1) to concerned students, in which she promised to schedule a meeting with the Coalition; 2) to community organizations in Argentina, in which she promised to better consult with them going forward; and 3) to international environmental organizations that have joined the Coalition’s efforts. Despite this progress, Harvard has not indicated that it will respond to the requests of community organizations in Argentina who want Harvard to stop expanding plantations within their communities, remove plantations within 2,000 meters of their homes, and comply with all legally required employment standards.
Who is coming?
Emilio Spataro, an organizer from Corrientes, Argentina, works with Guardianes del Iberá and local farmers to defend the Iberá wetlands.
Adrian Obregon, a resident of Montaña, Argentina, is a leader in the local small producers association. He also serves as liaison to the larger Argentine campesino movement.
Supporters and Co-sponsors
Over 70 donors contributed to fund the visas, plane tickets, and daily costs of the tour. We are grateful for our student group and institutional co-sponsors:
Students for a Just and Stable Future
Food and Water Watch
Responsible Endowments Coalition
Harvard College Student Labor Action Movement
Harvard Developers for Development
Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance
Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee
Harvard Kennedy School Progressive Caucus
Harvard College Environmental Action Committee
We are also grateful for generous grants from:
You, too, can donate to support the SHAME tour! Please donate via our fundly page.