When Pensions Buy Plantations: TIAA and other Wall Street Firms are Amassing Farmland in Mississippi

August 28, 2019

The cover story of this month’s The Atlantic magazine is a must-read article by Vann Newkirk titled The Great Land Robbery: The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms.” It chronicles the decades of systematic corruption that defrauded black farmers and their families out of millions of acres of prime farmland in Mississippi and across many states in the Deep South.


Indigenous and Community Land Rights Under Attack in Area Where Pensions Giant TIAA Is Amassing Land

May 5, 2017

On Sunday, April 30, local ranchers in Maranhão, Brazil, attacked the indigenous Gamela community, leaving 13 wounded. Several people were taken to a hospital, some with severe machete and bullet wounds.

The attack came as the Gamela community was trying to reclaim ancestral lands, just a few days after 4,000 indigenous protesters demanding recognition of indigenous land rights were repressed by police with tear


Investing in a better future: how TIAA has it all wrong

August 6, 2019

Seventeen years ago, ActionAid selected the financial services company TIAA to manage our staff’s retirement funds because we believed them to be a responsible investor. However, we have become increasingly concerned about TIAA’s investments in farmland — both here in the United States and in countries like Brazil. What most TIAA clients don’t know is that their retirement money is being used in shady land deals, driving deforestation in Brazil, fueling the corporatization of farming in the U.S., and effectively ...

104,481 and Counting: Calling on TIAA to Stop Investing in Land Grabs

April 21, 2017

Imagine for a moment that you’re in New York City on a breezy afternoon. You’re hurrying down the street to grab lunch, when you suddenly come across a cardboard bulldozer, a group of people holding signs, and a human-sized orangutan. What would you do?

Perhaps you’d do a double-take and keep walking. Perhaps you’d stop and see what’s going on. Or perhaps you wouldn’t even notice because you were on your phone. I saw all of these reactions on Thursday as I joined my colleagues to deliver our letter to TIAA, one of the largest investors in farmland globally and the retirement company of which ActionAid USA is a