Overwhelming Response to AACUC Announcement of Commitment to Change

Immediately following the African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) call this month for credit unions throughout the United States and abroad to join the effort to dismantle systemic racism, supporters responded enthusiastically and positively.

The initiative, Commitment to Change: Credit Unions Unite Against Racism, focuses on unification, education, conversations, and investments that will move the credit union movement into a future where diversity, equity and inclusion can thrive.

AACUC invites credit unions throughout the United States and abroad to join the effort to eliminate racism through the Commitment to Change: Credit Unions Unite Against Racism Initiative. Elements of the initiative include:

Creating a safe space for AACUC members to have “real talk” on the emotional and psychological impact of current events and how to bring about sustainable change. In the ongoing series of virtual conversations, topics have included the impact of police brutality, the fears of being profiled, what it’s like to experience microaggressions, and the reality of trauma that can happen to an individual and/or group as a result of oppression.

Launching the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Leadership Academy for Financial Professionals (DEI Academy). To further illuminate DEI among credit unions, AACUC’s interactive program will be offered four times a year, inviting in-depth exploration of diversity, equity, inclusion, and how to better understand the nuances of racism.

In addition to the time, expertise, and resources that several credit unions and industry organizations have contributed to AACUC, the credit union movement is making new financial investments that will have a long-term impact for current and future credit union professionals. Many AACUC partners have stepped up to join the Commitment to Change: Credit Unions Unite Against Racism including key support from credit unions, State Leagues, and CUSOs.

State Employees’ Credit Union based in Raleigh, North Carolina (SECU NC) has donated $125,000 to AACUC to support the efforts to educate the credit union community with a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Leadership Academy for Financial Professionals (DEI Academy). “We are proud to host the DEI Academy at our corporate headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina,” said Mike Lord, President/CEO, SECU NC.

Coastal Credit Union from Raleigh, NC, has pledged $50,000. President/CEO, Chuck Purvis said, “We’re not just supporting the initiative.  We’re taking it to heart and looking inward to see how we can do more ourselves.”

PSCU located in St. Petersburg, FL, has pledged to continue to provide in-kind support.

“I am convinced more now than ever that the Credit Union Industry can lead the nation in eliminating racial discrimination. Credit Union people do not have all the answers, but as practitioners of financial institutions we have a commodity that everyone needs,” said Sattiewhite, AACUC President/CEO.  “AACUC urges all credit union professionals to see their colleagues through a different lens, especially colleagues of color. Moving forward, interaction must consist of empathetic, honest, respectful and thoughtful discussions that are geared toward understanding, not blame.”

To learn more, participate, and support the “Commitment to Change” initiative, please visit www.aacuc.org or email Renée Sattiewhite at renee@aacuc.org