The Coalition of African American Credit Unions received the 2022 Anchor Award from the National Credit Union Foundation at the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards Dinner.
— Dohnia Dorman, AACUC Experience Director
SNELLVILLE, GEORGIA, USA, March 1, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) received the 2022 Anchor Award from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) during the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards Dinner at the Credit Union Government Affairs Conference Union National Association in Washington, DC for its global efforts uniting financial industries to eradicate racism amid the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest in 2020.
The Anchor Award is a rare and prestigious award reserved for individuals and organizations that demonstrate exceptional leadership in times of great adversity. Taking note of the aggravating events following the murder of George Floyd, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the relentless coronavirus and political strife leading up to the 2020 election and the resulting collective effect, often disproportionately on communities of color, the NCUF Board of Trustees recognized the unequivocal influence of AACUC during this unprecedented time.
“Never have I experienced a more tumultuous and uncertain time in our country and our credit unions,” said Jim Hayes, president and CEO of the State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina. “Witnessing the courage of AACUC to courageously and intentionally embark on the madness, to willingly accept the challenge and boldly carry the mantle as an agent of meaningful change is a testament to the organization’s leadership and position organization’s uniqueness as a system partner to gain support and catalyze systemic transformation.
In response to demands for social and economic justice in 2020, AACUC launched the Commitment to Change: Credit Unions Unite Against Racism initiative, founded on four principles – the 8th Cooperative Principle Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), the financial inclusion, closing the racial wealth gap and community involvement. AACUC has invited organizations from the credit union industry to participate focusing on unification, education, conversations and investments that will move the credit union movement forward where diversity, equity and inclusion can thrive.
More than 54 organizations have responded to the call over the past 2 years. AACUC President and CEO Renée Sattiewhite announced that the State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina (SECU of NC) has pledged $1 million. SECU of NC was the first credit union to donate $125,000 to AACUC for the DEI Leadership Academy for Financial Professionals – they have once again led credit unions in supporting the DEI efforts of the AACUC.
“We are honored and thrilled to see this level of support and commitment from the world’s second largest credit union,” Sattiewhite said. “SECU’s commitment further validates the importance and relevance of their work that we do and reaffirms the desired results of diversity and inclusion that our credit unions are eager to see in our movement.”
The Commitment to Change initiative has resulted in an exponential increase in AACUC membership and the creation of two flagship programs, including the Commitment to Change Conversation Series – monthly discussions on topics ranging from people’s experiences and issues color to inclusive leadership – and the DEI Leadership Academy for Financial Professionals – an interactive professional development program. A third flagship program, “The Financial Change Experience”, credit and prepaid card, is expected to debut this spring.
“The overwhelming response to AACUC’s Commitment to Change initiative and industry recognition of the Anchor Award demonstrates AACUC’s relevance to the credit union movement,” said Dohnia Dorman, Director of the AACUC experience. “AACUC’s mission is universal, and now more than ever, it’s exciting to see so many Difference Makers getting involved in making diversity and inclusion a strategic business priority. With AACUC at the helm, I have every confidence that our credit union movement will live up to the 8th Cooperative Principle, solidifying the service credit union business model on profits and people helping others.
Nearly 80 AACUC guests, including former African American Credit Union Hall of Fame winners, past Herb Wegner Memorial Award winners and the AACUC Board of Directors, members founders, staff, volunteers and strategic partners, all celebrated the organization’s achievements at the awards dinner.
The Anchor Award was last presented in 2019 to Brett Martinez, president and CEO of Redwood Credit Union, for his leadership during the 2017 California wildfires.
About the African American Credit Union Coalition
The African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) was created to increase the strength of the global credit union community. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization of professionals and volunteers in the credit union industry. Over the years, AACUC has grown and is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the vibrant credit union community it serves. AACUC has adopted the 8th Cooperative Principle and encourages all credit unions and affiliated organizations to adopt it as well. AACUC also created the Commitment to Change: Credit Unions Unite Against Racism initiative and gained momentum within the credit union industry. For more information visit: www.aacuc.org or follow us on social media at: Facebook.com/AACUC1, Linkedin.com/company/AACUC, Twitter.com/AACUC1 or Instagram.com/aacucctc.
About the National Credit Union Foundation
The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is the charitable arm of the American credit union movement, serving as a catalyst for improving people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through the Foundation’s own resources, grantmaking program, and commitment to effective partnerships, they provide research, insights, and tools to spark understanding in credit unions — helping to place financial well-being employees, members and the community at the center of a credit union’s strategy.
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