Congregation severing ties with AmazonSmile program
We, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, will no longer participate in the AmazonSmile and Affiliate gift-giving programs provided by the Amazon Corporation.
Evidence suggests that the Amazon Corporation’s employment policies support dangerous and unsafe labor practices. Additionally, some products sold through the corporation are marketed to government agencies and others involved in supporting the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) surveillance programs regarding the deportation and detention of immigrants.
For more information regarding this decision, please read this article by Will Evans of The Atlantic, from November 2019. For more information regarding the connections to facial recognition equipment being sold to the government, please read this January 2019 release by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
We have written a letter to Mr. Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer and president of the Amazon Corporation, expressing our views regarding these practices and our decision to withdraw from these programs.
Through the AmazonSmile and Affiliate gift-giving programs, we have asked many of you to choose us as your charity when making a purchase through Amazon. Because of this, we would receive a small percentage of the purchase as a donation.
Since taking part in these programs, many of you have asked us to publicize this program in order to increase more funding through these services.
However, since becoming aware of these practices, we felt compelled to cut ties with the program. As you know, we have sisters in our Congregation who minister directly with immigrants. We also do not want to be affiliated with corporations that have been accused of dangerous and inhumane labor practices.
These factors and others have led us to our decision to no longer participate in these gift-giving programs. Being an informed consumer requires careful deliberations at many levels. For us, this is but one example of making a different choice as new information comes to light. May each of us be always open to new learnings in our pursuit of a more just world.