August 1996 President Bill Clinton signs a law changing the tax code in Puerto Rico, causing capital flight and a recession that eventually leads to Puerto Rico's current debt crisis.
Fall 2012 Fossil Free Yale is founded.
November 2013 In a Yale College Council referendum, 83% of students vote in support of fossil fuel divestment.
Spring 2014 Fossil Free Yale works closely with the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility (ACIR), which recommends parts of their proposal for divestment to the Corporate Committee on Investor Responsibility (CCIR).
October 2014 the Yale Corporate Committee on Investor Responsibility rejects FFY's proposal for divestment from fossil fuels.
August 27, 2014 Chief Investment Officer David Swensen writes a letter to investment managers requesting that they "assess the greenhouse gas footprint of prospective investments, the direct costs of the consequences of climate change on expected returns, and the costs of policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions on expected returns."
April 9, 2015 49 students sit in at Woodbridge Hall demanding that Yale University reopen the conversation on divestment. At 5pm, when the building is scheduled to close, 150 students rally outside making a human chain around the building. Nineteen students remain in Woodbridge and are arrested for trespassing.
December 2015 Yale directly invests $190 million into Antero Resources, a fracking company with a record number of safety violations.
January 2016 FFY submits a new proposal to the ACIR specifically calling for divestment from ExxonMobil on the grounds that the oil company funds climate denial and actively obstructs climate action.
April 12, 2016 Fossil Free Yale rallies at a keynote address by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. David Swensen writes a letter discussing the positive impacts of his 2014 letter to investment managers. He cites a $10 million partial divestment, and efforts by ARC Financial to research impacts on how climate change might impact their business.
June 2016 The ACIR rejects FFY's proposal, saying there is no evidence that Exxon currently denies climate change. Yale purchases more Antero stock, a total of $230 million.
June 2015 Puerto Rico declares its $73 billion debt unpayable. Unlike a US state, Puerto Rico is not allowed to declare bankruptcy. The bonds making up the debt were constructed as payday loans, with long maturities and high interest rates — today, nearly half of Puerto Rico's debt is interest.
June 2016 President Obama signs PROMESA (The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act) into law. This places fiscal control of Puerto Rico in the hands of seven unelected officials from Washington in the form of La Junta (the Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico), violating Puerto Rico's autonomy.
September 2017 Hurricanes Irma & Maria, fueled by climate change, devastate Puerto Rico. The federal government takes months to send aid.
October 2017 The Intercept reveals that the hedge fund Baupost Group, one of Yale's largest investment managers, is also the largest holder of Puerto Rico's debt and is suing to be repaid before any hurricane recovery can happen.
December 2017 A coalition of activists, including Despierta Boricua, start a campaign demanding Yale cancel holdings in PR debt. This is part of a larger campaign across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Spring 2018 Fossil Free Yale, Despierta Boricua, Yale Prison Divest, ANAAY, and other groups hold a teach-in on various endowment related issues. The Yale Endowment Justice Coalition is formed, and states two demands simultaneously: Yale must cancel all holdings in Puerto Rican debt and divest from fossil fuels
December 2018 50 students sit-in and are arrested at the Yale Investments Office, demanding that Yale divest from fossil fuels and cancel holdings in Puerto Rico's debt. Hundreds more rally in support.
Spring 2019 Two more sit-ins in the Investments Office. Students disrupt a talk given by CIO Swensen asking him to respond to the demands of the people sitting in his office. He refuses.
September 2019 Over 1000 students walk out of class and rally at a climate strike to demand that Yale divest from fossil fuels and cancel the debt
December 2019 150 students from the Endowment Justice Coalition and Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard disrupt the Harvard-Yale game demanding both universities divest and cancel the debt. Hundreds of spectators rush to the field to join them, and the action makes international news.
February 2020 The Yale College Council votes unanimously to join the Endowment Justice Coalition. The Faculty Senate meets to discuss divestment for the first time.
March 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the world, and Yale moves classes online. EJC reorients to support new campaigns relating to the endowment: Step Up Yale, which calls for Yale to open empty dorms to New Haveners who lack shelter to self-isolate, and Black Students for Disarmament, which calls for Yale to defund the Yale Police Department.