CODEPINK, the grassroots peace and social justice non-profit, got its name in a spontaneous play on words. It was 2002, the U.S. was hurtling toward war with Iraq, and Homeland Security was posting daily terror alerts ranging from Code Green to Code Red. So founders Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin issued their own alert: CODEPINK. Roughly translated, it meant women adamantly opposed to the war.
CODEPINK’s first political action was a four-month vigil in front of the White House. From there, members traveled to Iraq, interviewed citizens about their firsthand experiences of the war’s horrors, and brought their stories back to the U.S., where they disseminated them to the public and the media. Later, the group successfully pushed a pro-peace agenda in the 2006 elections and influenced the anti-war proclamation delivered at the 2011 U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Banking crisis—of conscience
The group is currently striving for a permanent shuttering of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, as well as global standards regulating military drones. But CODEPINK’s social justice concerns reach far beyond war—the organization’s mission includes advocating for more resources for education, health care, veteran’s benefits and social services. And when the banking crisis hit in 2008, they felt they couldn’t in good conscience stay with their former, bigger bank.
So they turned to New Resource. “I’m on the board of the Rainforest Action Network, which banks with New Resource,” says co-founder Jodie Evans, “so I was familiar with their mission and vision. I knew their intention was to serve the needs of the community, which is what a bank—and politicians—should be doing.”
CODEPINK and New Resource were a natural fit for one another. “Our missions are very much aligned,” says Marsela Pecanac, a New Resource vice president. “Our definition of sustainability includes well-being for all people and the planet, and CODEPINK is right there with social justice and human rights.”
On top of sharing the bank’s values, CODEPINK benefits from New Resource’s special program for nonprofit organizations, which includes customized products and discounted (or free) pricing.
But the biggest benefit for CODEPINK may be New Resources’ relationship-driven approach. “When I call the bank,” says Evans, “I’m not talking to a machine. I’m talking to a person who loves their job and enjoys the work because it speaks to their values.
“Our job is to educate, inspire and activate,” she adds. “With New Resource, we’re now able to do that even around our banking.”