This Black History Month, Inclusiv honors the MDI credit union CEOs, Board members, staff and volunteers who fight for social, economic and racial equity in the communities they serve.
Below are stories highlighting the many ways in which MDIs that serve Black members help build stronger, more prosperous communities, combating the racial wealth gap by offering safe, affordable financial services. Stay tuned as we add more stories throughout the month of February!
Robert Nelson V has been a Prosperity Connection financial coach since 2016. Prior to becoming a coach, he worked as a Member Service Representative at the St. Louis Community Credit Union, Prosperity Connection’s founding partner. Throughout this time, his passion for financial wellness has translated into amazing results for the clients he serves. Whether assisting prospective home buyers navigate financing options, working with a young adult in establishing credit, or helping a married couple make a plan to pay down debt, he has a knack for helping others find a pathway to success.
“I started meeting with Brittany in January of 2020. She informed me that her goals were to increase her credit score, increase her savings, and move out of her mom’s house,” shared Robert... Read More
Councill Federal Credit Union views education as a top priority, according to Rufus Gilmore, manager of the credit union located in Huntsville, Alabama.
“Without education, our people won’t get to use their own money effectively,” says Gilmore, who has been working with the credit union in a variety of capacities since 1976. “Above everything else, we need to educate them on how to save so that they can develop wealth.”
Education is not only at the heart of Councill’s work: it has been ingrained in the foundation of the credit union since it was established in 1954. Located on the campus of Alabama A&M University, Councill Federal Credit Union serves... Read More
In 1963, when the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, sought a charter to start a credit union, the progressive Reverend R. T. Andrews’s motto was to serve the community from cradle to grave.
At the time, Mt. Zion was one of the largest minority churches in the city, but members were experiencing redlining due to race. Therefore, the establishment of the Mt. Zion Indianapolis Federal Credit Union provided its members—of all income levels—with the opportunity to accumulate savings, to use their own money for life decisions, and to develop credit.
Doris Doggett, who is the chair of the Board of Directors, says that the Mt. Zion Credit Union continues the work of shepherding people through their path... Read More
Paul Quinn Federal Credit Union board members and volunteers have a passion and energy absent in the big banking industry. They have a passion for helping the un- and underbanked people in their community. They have an energy for pushing forward and expanding their reach.
Paul Quinn was born out of the desire to further racial equity in the community and it continues to be at the forefront of its mission and strategic plan moving forward. The credit union was founded over 40 years ago to provide opportunities for financial independence in the Black community where previously none existed. While Paul Quinn continues this mission every day with its current members, they have a deep interest in doing more. The desire to improve the lives of individuals and families throughout the community is why expanding membership is at the top of Paul Quinn’s to-do list... Read More
Since the Rodney King Riots in 1992, many things have changed in Los Angeles and across the country—and many things remain the same. While the United States has grown in ways that include electing its first Black President and then—just recently—Vice President, systemic racism still exists today.
Sparked by the riots, there was a shift in L.A. toward the need for easier access for fair and regulated banking options to assist people with little or no credit. Thanks to the establishment of Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union (ECFCU), which began serving its first members later that same year in the city’s Echo Park area—mere minutes from where the riots took place.
It is out of compassion that James Barnes came to be a member of Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union... Read More
In 1992, local incidences of violence in Toledo, Ohio brought faith leaders and city government together for healing. The Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union emerged as one example of a solution to change the community. Its success caught everyone by surprise—the line was blocks-long in the first weeks, and the credit union was, at one time, the fastest growing in the United States.
Toledo Urban serves the oldest community in Toledo, Ohio, where the members were predominantly Black and either walked in or came by bike. It is literally and figuratively a cornerstone of the community. The corner building sits at the intersection of Detroit and Dorr and is easily accessible to people from downtown, the nearby University of Toledo, and major highways that cut through the city... Read More
Richard Romero remembers hauling groceries for blocks as a child with his mother because his immigrant family did not own a car. When they finally purchased a used Volkswagen, a new world opened up: a far easier grocery transport, of course, but also travel and job opportunities.
Today, as CEO and President of Seattle Credit Union and Inclusiv’s Board Chair, Richard understands firsthand the impact an affordable loan has to a low-income family. This insight informs Seattle Credit Union’s role as a leader in serving communities of color and the underserved, offering products such as low down payment loans, ITIN loans, and citizenship loans. As a financial institution with a social mission, the Seattle Credit Union has been especially integral during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the pandemic’s disproportionate damaging effects on communities of color immediately became apparent... Read More