Inclusiv Conference 2023

Inclusiv Conference 2023

Where Do We Go from Here? Economic Justice and Credit Unions

Memphis, Tennessee, May 1 - 3

Inclusiv Conference 2023, the largest annual gathering of credit unions with a mission of financial inclusion in the U.S., was held at the historic Peabody Memphis hotel.

Inclusiv Conference 2023 hosted a record participation of over 600 credit union professionals and partners in Memphis, TN!

Inclusiv Conference 2023 in Memphis was honored to bring together recognized leaders in the credit union and financial inclusion space to share their thoughts on the future of credit unions and solutions to the obstacles we face in the present.

Inclusiv Conference 2023 welcomed incredible speakers such as NCUA Board Chairman Todd Harper, USDA Rural Development Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service Karama Neal, and U.S. Department of the Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Graham Steele.

In the spirit of true inclusivity, Inclusiv Conference is proud to be the only US credit union conference to provide simultaneous translation services to support our Spanish-speaking attendees.

Inclusiv celebrates our quality partnerships with a host of sponsors and exhibitors who offer products and services for promoting the inclusion of underserved communities.  View our Inclusiv Conference 2023 sponsors and exhibitors here and read more about exciting announcements from CUNA Mutual Group, Citi, Nickels, and PoshAI.

In partnership with the AACUC, NLCUP and CU Pride, Inclusiv hosted a DEI Tuesday reception to celebrate and support diversity in the industry.  The event was sponsored by MGIC.

Read on for highlights of the energy, excitement, knowledge and networking shared by Inclusiv Conference 2023 attendees!

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presents Cathie Mahon, Inclusiv President/CEO with a proclamation designating May 2, 2023 as "Inclusiv Day".

Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award

Inclusiv was excited to announce two 2023 Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award winners at Inclusiv Conference 2023.

The award is named for Annie Vamper who dedicated her life to empowering financial inclusion for low-income people through credit unions and recognizes individuals who are making extraordinary contributions to the Community Development Credit Union (CDCU) movement.

This year's awardees are Sue Cuevas, President and CEO, Nueva Esperanza Community Credit Union and Sheilah Montgomery, President of Florida A&M Federal Credit Union and Founding Member and Board of Director of the African American Credit Union Coalition.

Inclusiv is delighted to honor the legacy of Annie Vamper through these incredible CDCU trailblazers.

Unscripted Happy Hour - From DEI to Action

Inclusiv Conference 2023 welcomed a conversation with Bella DuBalle, drag queen and local activist, and Ann Solomon, Inclusiv, Linda Bodie, CEO + Innovator, Element Federal Credit Union, Juan E. Fernández Ceballos, President & CEO, Credit Union Association of New Mexico.

Sponsored by Inclusiv, CU Pride and Unscripted, a platform developed by Juan Fernández that provides a safe space for CU professionals to discuss sensitive topics, the conversation centered on the struggles of the local trans community and how interested people can best support the struggles of the local LGBTQ+ community in the face of bigoted and discriminatory legislation and how to be effective advocates and allies.

After the conversation, Bella DuBalle held a drag show for the packed room.

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Inclusiv Conference 2023 highlights

In 2023, Inclusiv hosted our annual Conference in Memphis, TN with support of member Hope Credit Union.  Located in Inclusiv membership Region 2, Memphis is one of the poorest cities in the U.S.  Hope Credit Union is dedicated to empowering financial inclusion for the community.

Located on the Mississippi River in southwest Tennessee, Memphis was at the center of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s.  Today it is home to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (the setting of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's assassination in April 1968) and location of our first Site Visit.

Memphis is also famous for being the birthplace of the influential strains of blues, soul and rock 'n' roll that inspired numerous musical luminaries throughout the years.  Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Johnny Cash recorded albums at the legendary Sun Studio and Presley’s Graceland mansion is a popular attraction.   Other music landmarks include the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Blues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

General Sessions

General sessions at Inclusiv Conference provide the opportunity for the assembled attendees to hear a conversation about the biggest themes affecting the CDCU financial inclusion space.

For Conference 2023, the topics discussed during the General Sessions ranged from removing economic obstacles in the Deep South to working to maximize our Community Development mission within our regulatory environment and from helping Black and Latino agricultural communities access the capital they need to thrive to how the credit union community can incentivize their members to adopt the loan products to help mitigate climate change.

Community Builders of Color Coalition Announces New Fund to Invest in Climate Change Solutions for Low-Income Communities

At Inclusiv Conference 2023, The Community Builders of Color Coalition, led by the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, announced the launch of the Justice Climate Fund, a new initiative that will maximize the dual priorities of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which are to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and produce lasting health and economic benefits for low-income and disadvantaged communities throughout the country.

Pre-Conference Workshops & Breakout Sessions

Limited to 50 people each, the Inclusiv Conference 2023 pre-Conference workshops became classroom settings for registrants to learn best practices from Inclusiv subject matter experts that will help their credit unions better serve their home communities.

Inclusiv Conference 2023 hosted several breakout sessions designed to educate and encourage discussion around many topics in the financial inclusion space.

Site Visit 1: Memphis on the Move: Civil Rights & Community Transformation

This pre-Conference site visit began with a guided tour of the National Civil Rights Museum including the Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.  After the museum, attendees visited HOPE Credit Union’s hybrid branch at Crosstown Concourse, a mixed-use development in downtown Memphis funded in part through the New Markets Tax Credit program.

HOPE has 4 branches in Memphis, the city with the second-highest poverty rate among cities with a population over 500,000. The one million-plus square foot Concourse, once a Sears Roebuck distribution center, is today home to arts, education and healthcare organizations, plus apartments, restaurants and retail outlets.

Attendees learned about how this hybrid HOPE branch in the Crosstown Concourse to leverage its proximity to other mission aligned organizations, including the Church Health Center and Crosstown High to maximize it's effectiveness to meet the multi-cultural needs of its members.

Site Visit 2: Mississippi Delta: Blues & Community Transformation

The Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of the Blues and a critical battleground during the Civil Rights Movement. The legendary “King of the Blues” B.B. King brought the reality of life in the Delta to the world through his lyrics.

This full day, post-Conference Site Visit began at the five-star B.B. King Museum in Indianola, MS a 2 hour 30 minute drive from Memphis to learn how the Civil Rights Movement shaped the music of the 60’s.

After lunch, tour attendees continued on to Moorhead, MS to visit the local HOPE branch funded through a bank donation supported through the CDFI Fund Bank Enterprise Award program.  Attendees met Moorhead Mayor George Holland and the team from Delta Design Build to discuss how instrumental HOPE’s partnership was to building up local Moorhead infrastructure to support the Eastmoor Project, an affordable housing re-development managed by HOPE.

Site Visit 3: Mississippi Delta: Civil Rights & Healthy Food

Excursión 4: Región Delta del Mississippi: Derechos Civiles y Comida Saludable

This full day, post-Conference Site Visit took us to the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, MS, a two hour drive from Memphis.  The Center tells the story of the Emmett Till tragedy, using art and storytelling to promote racial equity.

Following lunch in Sumner, tour attendees continued to Drew, MS to visit the Drew Collaborative and meet with Gloria Dickerson, CEO and Founder of We2Gether Change who explained to attendees how community partners, including HOPE and We2Gether, converted an abandoned armory to create the Mississippi Delta Online Grocery bringing online ordering, fresh groceries and same-day delivery to a rural food-desert.

A hearty thank you to everyone who attended Inclusiv Conference 2023 in Memphis!  We look forward to continuing the energy next year at our 50th anniversary Conference in NYC!

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