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Series IV: Issues and Programs, 1966-2010
Series VIII. Member & Subscriber Services, 1995-2003
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in eleven series and several subseries.
The records of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) primarily document the work of the center's staff, although the collection also includes records relating to the activities of its governing board and individual member organizations. The strength of the collection lies in its documentation of ICCR's programs, its work on issues, and its work with individual corporations and the SEC.
The collection includes many records related to programs and issues coordinated through the ICCR, which originate from both Program Directors and Executive Directors. There is extensive documentation of the ICCR's work on issues related to apartheid South Africa and the responsible distribution of infant formula. In addition, there are records documenting work on issues related to the environment, corporate governance, discrimination and equality, health, labor, militarism, and violence. These records include action and campaign materials, correspondence, minutes, meeting files, reports, and working group materials, as well as research materials and general subject files.
ICCR's work with individual companies is also well-documented in the records. The company files include materials on companies, their business practices, and proxy resolutions filed by ICCR members. Some files also include information requests, clippings, and communications with other entities such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The collection also documents ICCR's work with the SEC. These records include documentation of ICCR's advocacy work on SEC policies and rule change proposals that relate to its work, such those related to as corporate disclosure, proxy rules, and shareholder rights and resolutions. The ICCR also works with the SEC on issues related to its shareholder resolutions, and this work is documented through correspondence, information on the resolutions, and responses to corporate challenges.
There is some information on members and subscribers in the collection. Much of the communication with members, particularly on issues and resolutions, is with those files. In addition, the ICCR's staff was often copied on members' direct communication with companies and other entities. There are some membership files, which include information on the member organizations, pledges, mailings, and subscriptions, but only for 1995-2002.
Coverage is less comprehensive for high-level administrative records of the ICCR. The collection does not include any large sets of executive records, per se, rather, the executive records in the collection primarily relate to work with specific issues and companies. In addition, there is limited coverage of the activities of ICCR's governing board. The collection includes board mailings (1993-2000), and while these include some memos and minutes, there are no other records related to the board's regular activities in the collection. However, there is coverage of annual planning meetings (1975-1995). Initially, ICCR held annual long range planning meetings or retreats. By the early 1980s, these meetings became Annual General Meetings. These records include minutes, questionnaires, evaluations, reports, and development papers.
Coverage of publicity materials is also limited within the collection. There are files of clippings and press releases from the 1970s, but they are not well-organized. In addition, some material exists that relates to the 15th, 20th, and 40th anniversaries. Otherwise, there is no comprehensive coverage of publicity or promotional materials. There is good, but not comprehensive, coverage of major publications, such as the Corporate Examiner and the Proxy Resolutions Book.
There is also very little audiovisual material in the records; there are a few audio and video recordings, and no photograph files.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Records; Box and Folder; Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Additions are expected
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Records processed by Catherine C. Ricciardi and Laura Thomas (School of the Arts, 2013), 2011-2012.
Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi, November 2012.
2012-11-27 File created.
2012-11-27 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi
2015-09-03 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi - container list for Subseries IV.4 added.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) grew out of an interest in socially responsible investing that arose from concerns of clergy that churches might be profiting from the Vietnam War through their investments. In 1971, the Episcopal Church and six other protestant denominations formed the Interfaith Committee on Social Responsibility in Investments (ICSRI), which would allow for the group to share information and coordinate efforts to press for corporate change through their collective investments. During that same year, the Episcopal Church filed the first religious-sponsored shareholder resolution with General Motors requesting that the company withdraw its operations from apartheid South Africa. The committee soon filed additional resolutions on other social issues using similar strategies.
The organization expanded during the 1970s. The ICSRI's membership grew quickly, and within a few years was joined by Jewish investors and the National Catholic Coalition for Responsible Investment. In 1973, the ICSRI merged with the Corporate Information Center (CIC) to form the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). The CIC had been founded in 1971 as a research project within the National Council of Churches (NCC), and produced the Corporate Examiner newsletter and other research reports on corporate responsibility. The two organizations had worked closely together, and the merger allowed for the ICSRI, which focused on coordination and strategy, to form one organization with the CIC, which focused on research, education, and producing information.
The ICCR has expanded and diversified both its membership and its strategies since its founding. Although the ICCR began as an alliance of faith-based organizations, it expanded its membership to include non-faith based organizations interested in social justice. In 1982, Calvert Group joined the ICCR as its first non-faith based member, and unions, pension funds, and other groups joined the ICCR throughout the 1980s. The ICCR also expanded its original approach of filing resolutions and attending shareholder meetings to engaging in direct dialog with corporations, as well as employing letter writing campaigns, and other strategies.
The ICCR's work has expanded and changed to engage new issues over time. During the 1970s and 1980s, its work focused on several issues including apartheid, nutrition and the irresponsible distribution of infant formula, equal opportunity employment, diversity, equal access to capital, military profiteering, negative portrayals of women and minorities in advertising, political contributions, and the environmental impact of strip mining. During the 1990s and 2000s, the ICCR also worked on issues related to the corporate governance and policy, the environment and energy, militarism and violence, sweat shop labor, tobacco, and other human rights issues.
Today, the ICCR is comprised of nearly 300 organizations with collective investments of over $100 billion, which continues to influence corporate policy on environmental, social, and economic issues.