‘Justice for the vulnerable’ a guiding mission for Nash’s 15 years in shareholder advocacy
NEW YORK, NY, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 – The Governing Board of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility today announces Sr. Nora Nash as the recipient of its 2014 Legacy Award. The ICCR Legacy Award was created to honor those whose work has provided a strong moral foundation and an enduring record of demonstrated influence on corporate policies.
Nora is a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia, and the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for her congregation which joined ICCR as a member 35 years ago.
Nora manages her congregations’ assets in community development loans, and social justice grants and is an active and valued member of the ICCR coalition. Said Rev. Séamus Finn, ICCR Board Chair, “Nora has been tenacious, tireless and, some would even say, ubiquitous in advancing her congregation’s commitment to integrate their Franciscan identity and vision into the management and deployment of their assets.”
For Sister Nora, the Franciscan gift of relationship is a call to “stay at the table” with an active and listening ear—to “always be open to conversation and, wherever possible, to create a more just and equitable society”.
“We have to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves,” says Nora. At the same time, she adds, “We’re not here to put corporations down. We’re here to improve their sense of responsibility.”
In 2011, Sister Nora made headlines in the New York Times when she confronted Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein over the excessive amount the bank’s executives were being paid during one of the worst recessions to ever hit the U.S. “Saint Francis would be spinning in his grave” if he knew what they were paying themselves, was Nora’s candid assessment.
While she began her professional life as a schoolteacher and principal, Nora, who grew up in Limerick County, Ireland, has felt called to tackle numerous issues of corporate responsibility over the years. Together with associate director, Tom McCaney, she has challenged Kroger over the rights of farm workers, Hershey’s over child labor, Anadarko and Chevron on hydraulic fracturing, Walmart on wages, and Wells Fargo on predatory lending.
Many who meet Sister Nora are immediately disarmed by her gentle nature and her humility; however, there is nothing gentle about her commitment to social justice, and her passionate defense of communities negatively impacted by corporate practices is legendary at ICCR. Said Tom McCaney, “What's always stood out to me about Sister Nora, is that even among our colleagues at ICCR, these women and men of such faith, intelligence, and dedication, she's known to always bring the shareholder issue back to the rights of the people. 'Justice for the most vulnerable' best describes her work with ICCR."
When Nora isn’t actively engaging companies or managing her congregation’s assets she is serving on the Members Board of Partners for the Common Good, the CLM Fonkoze Committee, the Catholic Health Initiatives Shareholder Responsibility Committee and the Consulting Board of the Good Steward Enhanced Fund. She holds a Masters in Educational Administration from St. Bonaventure University and completed her post-graduate work at Notre Dame University.
More recently, Nora is one of 10 sisters profiled in a new book by Jo Piazza, “If Nuns Ruled the World”. We are so very blessed to have Nora working beside us in our world, here at ICCR.
Please join us in congratulating Sr. Nora as she receives the 2014 Legacy Award at our Weathering the Storm event on Thursday, October 2nd at the Copacabana in NYC.