A small but growing number of religious communities across the country are removing their money from Wall Street banks to protest what they see as unfair mortgage foreclosures and unwillingness to lend to small businesses.
The New Bottom Line (NBL) coalition of congregations, community organizations, labor unions and individuals is promoting a "Move Our Money" campaign with the goal of shifting $1 billion from big banks to community banks and credit unions.
"In a way, the banks have divested from our communities, especially communities of color," said the Rev. Ryan Bell, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Los Angeles. "So we're basically telling Bank of America that we want them to invest in our communities, and until they do that we're not going to give our money to them."
Bell's church was one of six Los Angeles Christian congregations that announced they would divest a collective $2 million from Bank of America and Wells Fargo as part of the Move Our Money campaign.