POWER OF THE PURSE
PUTTING YOUR ECONOMIC
POWER TO WORK
Mobilizing Consumer Power Against Hate
During the 2016 election, the Trump campaign was marketing Trump brand goods directly from the campaign trail, which meant some of America's most venerable companies were profiting from a campaign that had at its center, a figure who regularly denigrates women and inaccurately equates immigrant communities with criminality. Religious minorities, communities of color, and the press are among the administration's other frequent targets.
In response, on October 11, 2016 Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio launched the grassroots #GrabYourWallet boycott. The action was aimed at demonstrating the purchasing power of women and to provide big hearted, fair minded people with a peaceful way to protest Team Trump's serial targeting of women and marginalized communities.
For three years, The Grab Your Wallet website offered a real-time listing of which companies still carried Trump brand products. It encouraged visitors to contact the companies, respectfully share concerns, and refrain from doing business with listed companies until they dropped financial ties with the Trump family. During that time, over 70 companies including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Carnival Cruise, and Kawasaki did so.
Hundreds of media outlets covered the action and its results. In February 2017 The New York Times reported “In the waning days of January, Trump-related complaints, many of which mentioned Grab Your Wallet, were Nordstrom’s most common customer feedback." Later, the Grab Your Wallet boycott was named by The Guardian, Bloomberg, Elle, Glamour, and Vanity Fair as a major contributing factor in Ivanka Trump's decision to shutter her fashion line.
Working with Color of Change, Grab Your Wallet was also credited with helping to expedite the dissolution of Trump’s economic forums and helping to hasten Bill O’Reilly’s departure from Fox News. Grab Your Wallet was also credited with helping to expedite the cancellation of The New Celebrity Apprentice, for which Donald Trump was still a paid producer.
Encouraging Tech to Be More Responsible
In the fall of 2018, the Grab Your Wallet movement was also credited with successfully pressuring Twitter to ban Alex Jones for repeated dissemination of deceptive, defamatory content.
Our innovative #BlockParty500 action inspired over 80,000 Twitter users to participate in the first ever group block of Fortune 500 companies on Twitter, which prevented their Tweets and promoted posts from being shown to all 80,000 participants. The companies were automatically unblocked when Twitter banned Jones. The action garnered a high volume of press coverage in a short period of time.
Behind the scenes, GYW worked with the HONR Network and The New York Times to help uncover a practice at Wordpress/Automattic that allowed bloggers to monetize Sandy Hook hoaxer content. The resulting story led to a new policy at the company that forbids the malicious use of images of children on any Wordpress-hosted site.
Fighting Back Against Sexual Harassment
The Grab Your Wallet Alliance recently joined forces the LedBetter Gender Equality Index, and the RISE Community (Return on Investment & Social Equity) to launch the Force the Issue project in September 2019.
The goal of the Force the Issue project is to get companies to stop requiring arbitration for sexual harassment claims, a common corporate practice that prevents workers from taking sexual harassment claims to court. Research shows that arbitration favors employers, most likely because they benefit from maintaining close, ongoing relationships with the arbitrators who decide the cases. In addition, the practice likely protects serial sexual harassers and normalizes illegal behavior.
The launch was accompanied by a statement of support from a broad array of institutional investor groups including the AFL-CIO, Trillium Asset Management, Walden Asset Management, Natural Investments, Nia Impact Capital, and the president of Los Angeles City Employee Retirement System (LACERS). The signers of the statement represent $54 billion of investor assets.
The project is being conducted in partnership with Tara Health Foundation and receives additional support from individual contributors to Grab Your Wallet Alliance, a California based 501c4 nonprofit.