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5 ways to make peace-centered consumer decisions

Governing Under the Influence "People Power over Corporate Power" banner
Photo: Arnie Alpert / AFSC

This list was created by Jason Tower, Dalit Baum, Puoy Keang, Valeri Heinonen, and Dan Jasper from their workshop, "Business for Peace: A Global Conversation on Corporate Power and People Power" at AFSC's 2017 Centennial summit. See this list and others from the summit online at Download this list as a PDF here.

  1. Check your own investments, and ask members of your meeting, church or social network to investigate what they are invested in. A helpful resource for doing this is, which can scan your investment holdings for your prison footprint or for exposure to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.  

  1. Consider with your meeting, church, or social network any actions you might take with respect to the 3M company, which makes everything from Scotch Brite to Post-It notes. 3M uses and promotes prison labor, including producing ankle bracelets used on immigrants and components for assault helicopters. As of yet, there are no campaigns or public actions targeting it. How can you, as a consumer, help change that?  

  1. If you, your friends, your meeting, or other institutions you are associated with have investment portfolios, check with your money managers and vote your shares! Take steps to becoming an active investor, and influence the policies of companies you own and what they invest in. 

  1. AFSC’s work has identified that Chinese business responds to many of the same types of engagement as Western business. Despite this there is a lot of unproductive finger-pointing by Western investors, often arguing that “we may not be doing well, but we are doing better than China.” Avoid a race to the bottom -- educate your friends and social networks on this point.  

  1. Think before you buy! Join or help start consumer campaigns, and educate others about companies’ involvement in human rights violations or environmental malfeasance. Remember: your personal consumer choices can only go so far; collective action has the power to change corporate behavior. 


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