Posted on July 27, 2020

Fidelity Charitable Should Stop Facilitating Funding to Organizations Espousing Racism

Janhavi Madabushi, et al., Dorchester Reporter, July 23, 2020

George Floyd’s casual murder by police has made it clearer than ever: We must end police violence and white supremacy. Black-led uprisings have brought millions into the streets, and even those previously silent on these issues are starting to speak up. Recently, Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity Investments, wrote a LinkedIn post stating that she is “heartbroken and angry that racial discrimination and inequality continue to plague our society.”

And yet, behind the scenes, the Fidelity Charitable branch of her corporation lets money from its Donor-Advised Funds flow to organizations that espouse racist idea and practices.

As representatives of the Muslim Justice League, Asian American Resource Workshop, Community Labor United, and the Boston-based Public Good Coalition, we fight outsized corporate influence in Massachusetts and aim to put working families and communities of color at the center of public decision-making. Last year, we asked Ms. Johnson to ensure that Fidelity Charitable stop allowing millions of dollars to be donated to anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ+, and other organized bigotry groups. So far, she has refused.

The groups receiving money from Fidelity Charitable DAFs include the American Freedom Law Center, an anti-Muslim litigation hub {snip} That organization received a total of $1,301,300 in Fidelity Charitable DAF money in fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

During this period, Fidelity Charitable facilitated another $87,350 to the New Century Foundation, which promotes pseudo-scientific research that attempts to “prove” white racial supremacy. Its founder, Jared Taylor, has said, “Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” The New Century Foundation has also dismissed the systemic racism that permeates law enforcement and erroneously claims in one report, “if there is police racial bias in arrests it is negligible”.


Fidelity Charitable should not allow money from its Donor-Advised Funds to be funneled to organized bigotry groups. We urge Fidelity Charitable to implement a screening mechanism similar to that adopted by Amalgamated Foundation and 83 other organizations, which forbids “any support of organizations engaged in ‘hateful activities.” This is the only real option if Abigail Johnson and Fidelity are truly committed to “making the world a better place” instead of allowing themselves to be used by agents of white supremacy.