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Plenary Sessions


Credit Unions Build Racial Equity
Bill Bynum, Maria Martinez, Maurice Smith, Cathie Mahon
2020 has once again renewed focus on racial inequities in the US and reinvigorated national attention on the imperative of creating a financial system that works for everyone. According to the Institute for Policy Studies Racial Wealth Divide report, the median Black family, with just over $3,500, owns just 2% of the wealth of the nearly $147,000 the median White family owns. The median Latino family, with just over $6,500, owns only 4% of the wealth of the median White family. This trend is being exacerbated by the current crisis, which has disproportionately impacted rural areas and minority communities. How can we build on the legacy of community development credit unions to counter these trends and advance true financial inclusion? Join a discussion with policy makers, thought leaders and CDCU practitioners who will examine the challenges and opportunities for credit unions attempting to close this gap.

CDFIs Gain Visibility as Financial First Responders
Jodie Harris, Michelle Thornhill
CDFIs in general and credit unions in particular played an essential role in the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program in getting billions of dollars of these forgivable loans to truly small businesses in underserved communities and communities of color across the country. As a result, the CDFI sector has gained visibility and recognition by the public and Congress. Where do we go from here? How can we expand capacity?

Coronavirus: Understanding and Responding to Interwoven Crises
Gigi Hyland, Fiona Greig, Leigh Phillips
COVID-19 began as a public health crisis, quickly followed by an economic crisis with a drastic impact on households’ financial well-being. Public health and household financial data is showing us how these layered crises are disproportionately impacting poor communities and communities of color, underscoring long-standing inequalities in health access and financial stability. Join us to learn about what the latest research is telling us about communities and households’ financial well-being during 2020 and how credit unions can continue to adapt and respond in the months ahead.

Climate Change And Equality: The Role Of Credit Unions To Make Clean Energy Accessible And Affordable
Marilyn Waite, Tom Kurian, Gregory Milne
Natural disasters have intensified because of climate change and have a disproportionate impact on low-income minority communities. Inclusiv’s newly established Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy, created in partnership with the Center for Impact Finance at the Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire, and the Hewlett Foundation, has brought together a group of credit union innovators and clean energy experts to jointly design and scale solutions to climate change, with the goal of promoting affordable and sustainable energy for all people. In this session we will discuss how credit unions are uniquely positioned to develop and deploy climate-friendly financial products that support capacity and access to clean energy solutions for consumers, homeowners and businesses in low-income minority communities.

Building A More Equitable Financial System
Michael Swack, Maurice Jones, Pearl Wicks, Luis Pastor
Experts will examine the fault lines exposed by the financial crisis and explore the emerging role of CDFIs, MDIs and mission driven credit unions as financial first responders.


Breakout Sessions

Inclusive Finance: Research on Credit Union Growth and Relevance
Samira Salem, Terry Ratigan
The community development-lending model enables credit unions to perform better, more equitably and more responsibly than mainstream financial institutions, especially in times of economic uncertainty. As mission driven financial institutions increase their push to deliver affordable, accessible financial products for underserved consumers and communities, the data shows that these activities aren’t just sustainable, but drivers of growth for these institutions. These indicators are particularly evident in credit unions serving the Hispanic market, that have also consistently demonstrated that it is not only possible, but actually expected to do well by doing good.

Secondary Capital: Removing Roadblocks and Building Bridges toward Financial Inclusion
Ahmed Campbell, Cathi Kim
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the global community has created a ripple effect that further exacerbates the wealth gap and equal access to financial services for the most economically disadvantaged segments of our society – the unbanked and underbanked.  This session will explore strategies for leveraging secondary capital to both address systemic roadblocks towards building more financially inclusive communities and also strengthen your credit union's financial performance.

Bringing Down Systemic Barriers to Defeat Inequality
Edgar Hernandez, Angela Russell
The last few months have accentuated the racial and socioeconomic disparities that continue to exist in our country, exposing the ugly truth about these historic inequalities. The result is that a growing segment of our nation has fallen behind or worse yet, has never been able to get ahead. The disproportionate impact of COVID 19 on minority communities has devastated them, obliterating their feeble post great recession gains. How can credit unions empower these communities?  How we can come together as a credit union movement and commit to driving real change?

The Intersection of Compliance and Inclusion
Kenia Calderon Ceron, Erin O’Hern
Compliance is a key consideration for financial institutions. It determines how we respond to market opportunities and it can become a barrier to financial inclusion innovation. Never let fear of compliance prevent you from serving the underserved. Learn how to foster and integrate a culture of compliance and inclusion.  Together we will address compliance roadblocks and identify key ways to support your growth objectives. In this session attendees will learn to: Incorporate compliance into the organization’s offerings for underserved markets; address unique compliance considerations that arise in different facets of the organization; and utilize compliance to ensure safety and soundness while serving the underserved.

Reflecting on Challenges and Opportunities while Serving Black Communities
Jacqueline Moore, Sheilah Montgomery, Urla Gomes, Harry Franklin
The COVID-19 global pandemic and recent period of economic and social unrest in our country have shed light on some of the unique challenges that credit unions serving Black communities face. We will hear first-hand experiences from several of Inclusiv’s Resilience Fund grantees on how they have mobilized their credit union staff, their members, and local communities in order to offer timely services and remain sustainable while also taking advantage of new opportunities and resources during this critical time. This session is targeted to credit union practitioners including managers and frontline workers, but all are welcome.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: The Journey of Young Latino Professionals in The Credit Union Industry
Diana Cervantes, Fabiana DeGuire, Marisela Zambrano
As the number of Juntos Avanzamos designated credit unions demonstrates, our industry realizes that in many ways its future and relevance will be determined by how well we connect with this demographic. As credit unions become more diverse, a new generation of Latino professionals is joining our movement, bringing a new perspective on how we should engage with the communities we serve. This infusion of new ideas and energy has worked to advance financial inclusion initiatives in many credit unions throughout the United States, expanding access to the Hispanic and immigrant communities. Yet, many Latino professionals in the U.S. workforce and in the industry face challenges that are unique and reproduced across all industries, including ours. How do we address those challenges and empower this new generation? Join a panel of young credit union professionals as they talk about their particular professional journeys and the challenges they have faced. Learn about how your credit union can attract and retain Latino talent to build a more diverse workforce.

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