The Stanford Class of 2014 Commencement speakers, Bill and Melinda Gates, are currently facing global scrutiny for their foundation’s $172 million investment in G4S,the world’s largest private military and security company. G4S is the world’s second-largest private employer and is complicit in a litany of human rights abuses and concerns, including:
We appreciate the Gates’ willingness to share their time with the Class of 2014 and our campus. While here, we ask Bill and Melinda to engage in dialogue about principles for making the world a better place. We highlight investments in G4S as a crucial contradiction to our individual and collective values as upcoming leaders in the global community. The company’s practices undermine Stanford’s founding mission to promote public welfare and the Gates Foundation’s philanthropic legacy.

The Founding Grant of the university tasks its students with “[promoting] the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization.” We seek to utilize our influence as Stanford students and the audience of the Gates Commencement address towards this end. Financing and profiting from the oppression of others does not benefit humanity. We publicly ask the Gates to divest from G4S as a sign of respect to us and to the communities oppressed by companies like G4S. In addition to this, we ask the Gates to release a public statement outlining their guidelines for ethical investment practices.

We hope you’ll join us in this request by signing the petition below:


Subpages (1): Current Signatories