Dr. Laura Gerald, President of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and Vice Chair of the Grantmakers In Health board of directors, announced in an op-ed for The News & Observer that the Trust is divesting from tobacco.
We must acknowledge the role of slavery and tobacco in generating and increasing the Trust’s wealth (now $575 million, of which we give away approximately $20 million each year) and to the evidence of comfort by our founder with racist and inequitable systems that harmed the very people she sought to help. To repair this history and fulfill our founders’ mission on today’s terms, at our recent 75th anniversary events, we announced that we will divest from tobacco and commit to a socially responsible investment strategy.
We know so much more today about the health effects of tobacco that we cannot justify supporting it, given how harmful it is to the health of those we serve.–Dr. Laura Gerald, President, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust