News Release

California Faculty Association Applauds CalPERS for Halting Private Migrant Detention Investments

Development is the culmination of a months-long campaign by faculty union activists.

SACRAMENTO — During a meeting today with  California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) leadership, the California Faculty Association learned that faculty pensions would no longer be invested in private prison operators CoreCivic and GEO Group, which operate the largest family migrant detention centers in the nation.  

“We commend CalPERS for taking an unequivocal stand against the heinous practices of CoreCivic and GEO Group,” said Margarita Berta-Ávila, CFA’s Associate Vice President and professor at CSU Sacramento. “Our union was not going to stand by and watch our pension dollars support these terrible corporations, and we’re pleased to see that CalPERS’ investment analysts have come to the same conclusion.”

CFA’s campaign to pressure CalPERS to reexamine and halt these investments began in April when CFA members, who are CalPERS members, adopted a resolution outlining deeply held concerns that their pensions were being used to bolster these private prison operators, who have been connected to a litany of human rights abuses. Today’s decision came as part of a 30-day review of investments that also saw CalPERS redirect investments from more than 100 other companies.

“This is a welcome move on CalPERS’ part, but it would not have been possible without CFA’s members,” said Charles Toombs, CFA President and Professor of Africana Studies at CSU San Diego. “Our members’ unwavering dedication to bringing about this change made all the difference in what is a historic win for CFA. Month after month, our activists came to Sacramento from all corners of the state and stood in solidarity to make this happen. This is a proud day for our union and an important one for those who have suffered injustices at the hands of CoreCivic and GEO Group.”

CalPERS Vice President Theresa Taylor, who attended the meeting, confirmed to CFA leaders that these decisions are part of CalPERS’ broader responsible investment strategy. CFA looks forward to engaging with the pension system on matters of social justice in the future.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: CFA represents more than 28,000 tenure-line instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, from Humboldt State in the north, to San Diego State in the south. Learn more about CFA at and visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.