Attention Students and Faculty!

Are you passionate about making sure that your money isn’t fueling the climate crisis? Interested in winning prizes, making connections with like-minded individuals, getting published, and participating in a national competition? Look no further.

TIAA, known for offering educators, artists, scholars, and others a path to financial security in retirement, has come under fire for its investment choices. Despite its noble mission, over $78 billion of TIAA’s funds are invested in coal, oil, and gas industries, which are notorious for their detrimental environmental impact. These investments often involve practices that harm communities, perpetuate environmental degradation, and contribute to climate change.

Despite its efforts to project a progressive image, TIAA’s practices suggest otherwise. TIAA has been linked to land grabs – the unlawful and often violent seizure of land. This practice displaces communities and undermines their rights, leading to social injustices and unrest. It’s disheartening to see an institution trusted by educators and scholars engaging in activities that contradict the values they claim to uphold.

TIAA, sponsor of the iOme Challenge, claims to empower young voices in shaping retirement policy. However, there’s a glaring oversight: TIAA doesn’t mention that its own retirement investments are contributing to climate degradation, with $78 billion in coal, oil, and gas.

We’d like to invite you to participate in TIAA’s iOme Challenge, which seeks to re-evaluate the retirement system and modernize efforts for a more secure future. While we support this mission, we also want to push TIAA to address the risks associated with fossil fuel investments. Here’s your opportunity to use your voice to ensure that climate justice is central to retirement planning discussions across generations!

The deadline for the iOme Challenge is May 12th. We’ll award $250 to an entry we think best represents the intersectional requirements of climate justice finance!

Feeling rushed by the May 12th deadline? Consider joining TIAA-Divest!’s Sustainable Savings Showdown. Same rules, extended timeline. Submissions are due by May 30th, with the winning team receiving a $150 cash prize and an internship opportunity with TIAA-Divest!, which may include credit.

We will feature entries on our website to spotlight sustainable retirement planning. 

Ready to make a difference? Email to get started!

I’m interested, what next? 

  1. Visit and read the instructions, challenge question, and begin planning your essay. 
  2. Decide if you are entering the iOme (May 12) or just the Sustainable Savings Showdown (May 30) 
  3. Email to get started.
    1. Include your name(s)
    2. If you have a faculty advisor
    3. Which deadline you are entering for