Morehouse Student Government Association Calls on College to Divest from Iran and Sudan

Leaders of Morehouse College’s Student Government Association (SGA) have formally requested of President Robert Franklin that their historic institution withdraw its endowment from companies currently doing business in Iran and Sudan. These student leaders have cited Morehouse’s long-standing traditions of moral leadership and the threats to peace and security posed by Iran and Sudan as the impetus behind their initiative. The name given to their effort is the Vanguard Divestment Initiative (VDI).

Morehouse SGA President Adam McFarland said, “President Franklin always talks about Morehouse Men being ‘renaissance men’ who are socially conscious. Therefore, we as students at Morehouse can’t become leaders on the global scene if we do not become aware and take meaningful action on these types of issues.”The letter delivered to Morehouse President Robert Franklin was signed by the entire Executive Board of the SGA and calls for targeted divestment from any holdings the school may have in the energy sectors of the Iranian and Sudanese economies. These areas are the primary focus of the campaign because Iran’s nuclear program and Sudan’s genocidal campaign are funded by the profits from these revenue streams. A passage from the letter reads:

This collective of student leaders supports divestment as the most effective way to safeguard against a nuclear armed Iran and to impede the resources of the Sudanese militia. A joint Sudanese and Iranian divestment campaign at Morehouse will be the preface to a new story about this generation’s moral leadership. Such an initiative is the first of its kind, and Morehouse will once again be at the forefront of change, directly combating stereotypes of apathy and inaction unfairly associated with young African-Americans.

Robert Fulton, another student signatory to the letter, wrote an editorial in the campus newspaper reiterating the call for divestment. Fulton declared, “The VDI was developed in order for the voices and concerns of Morehouse students to have real resonance in the various human rights and national security debates of our time. The genocide in Sudan is evil and Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons poses an immediate threat to global security. World war is a very real possibility if the Iranian regime does not bow to the weight of international condemnation of its rhetoric and actions. As global citizens, these issues merit our highest concern and effort.”

While many in the Morehouse community were initially unaware of these potential investments, one student group was responsible for bringing this issue to the attention of Morehouse students and administration. That organization is Vanguard Leadership Group (VLG). VLG is an honor society and leadership development academy for top students at Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University. They have successfully engineered the passage of similar Iranian/Sudanese divestment efforts in the city of Atlanta, DeKalb County and they also have one pending before the Fulton County Commission.