Aetna slave insurance policy -- combined view of 2 pages.
By James Cox, USA TODAY
Photo by Todd Plitt, USA TODAY
Deadria Farmer-Paellmann has spent five years digging for evidence that ties Corporate America to pre-Civil War slavery. She confronted Aetna in 2000.
On March 9, 2000, Bill Rigby of Reuters News broke the story. Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, a 34-year-old lawyer and activist was single-handedly petitioning several U.S. corporations to apologize for their involvement in slavery.
Aetna Inc. was her first target. They wrote life insurance policies on the lives of enslaved Africans. Slave owners were the beneficiaries. The practice made buying captive Africans a safe investment. Deadria demanded that they disgorge their profits from the policies -- pay restitution into a Trust Fund to benefit descendants of enslaved Africans.
To aid in Deadria's quest for justice, California Senator Tom Hayden began drafting a bill that required insurance companies to disclose their slavery past. The law passed by October of 2000. Since then, over 13 disclosure laws have passed around the United States.
These laws have morphed into international legislation with the United Kingdom passing an Anti-Slavery Disclosure Law requiring companies of a certain size to reveal their modern anti-slavery efforts. The United States is considering similar legislation to fight modern slavery too.
States or municipalities that passed Slavery Era Disclosure Laws include:
CALIFORNIA: State, Los Angeles, Oakland, Richmond, Berkeley, San Francisco
ILLINOIS: State, Chicago
MICHIGAN: Detroit, Wayne
article by Virginia Groark for New York Times