CalSTRS Approves Sudan Divestment

April 7, 2006 ( - The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), the nation's second-largest public pension fund, signaled its intent Thursday to dump its holdings in firms doing business in the Sudan.

Citing the genocide in Sudan’s troubled region of Darfur, the $141 billion-fund voted 9 to 0 to carry out the move after CalSTRS’ staff develops a divestment plan modeled after one adopted last month by the University of California Board of Regents (See  UC Regents Approve Sudan Divestment Program ), the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

As of last week, the retirement system’s stock holdings included more than $12 million in five companies with links to the Sudanese government

“CalSTRS has recognized the magnitude and immediacy of the atrocities in Darfur and has taken unprecedented action,” said Jason Miller, co-chair of UC’s Divest Sudan Task Force, who spoke to the retirement board in favor of divestment, according to the Chronicle. “CalSTRS decided to address uniquely heinous crimes with an equally unique solution: divestment.”

The board’s action Thursday came after students from 10 college campuses and religious leaders testified at a meeting of the Investment Committee of the teachers’ retirement system.