Climate change activists at Reed College will formally ask the college Board of Trustees on Friday to sell off the private school’s stocks in fossil fuel companies.

The group DivestReed wants the college to freeze new investments in the top 200 oil, gas and other fossil fuels corporations, and gradually sell off its existing shares over the next decade.

The Reed campaign, two years in the making, is part of a national Fossil Free campaign promoted by the climate action group The campaign has caught on at dozens of college campuses.

Reed has an estimated $500 million endowment fund, with tens of millions of dollars invested in BP, Exxon, Shell and other fossil fuels companies.

Reed activists liken the current campaign to past efforts to get the college to divest in companies doing business with the apartheid regime in South Africa, and the more recent Divest Darfur campaign that targeted companies invested in that war-torn region of Sudan.

Reed activists plan to hold a rally on the steps of the Vollum Lecture Hall at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, a half-hour before they are slated to address the Board of Trustees.

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