Browse by Type

Blog Post |

Bringing the Power of the Credit Union Movement to Push for Racial Economic Equity

What happens when low-wealth individuals have a tremendous amount of community and social capital but don't have a relationship capital with credit unions, lenders, or others within the financial industry?

Suppose you are someone who has a viable business idea or desire for homeownership but is unable to gain access to capital because you lack a meaningful financial relationship. Suppose you find yourself constantly battling processes that prevent you from gaining the needed access to capital. These challenges are the harsh realities of low- and moderate-income communities.

An opportunity emerges from a partnership

Viewing opportunity through the lens of a lived experience perspective helps guide our work at Urban Strategies, Inc. (USI) allowing us to create and diversify the deployment of capital in communities historically unable to access it on their own. Filene Research Institute in partnership with Urban Strategies and Native Women Lead are helping credit unions partner with organizations and individuals with the kinds of lived experience shared above on a collaborative learning journey grounded in community-centric solution building, intentional infrastructure building, and authentic partnership development. Through this

This partnership is building the Racial Economic Equity (REE) Incubator to create a framework for incorporating racial equity into financial programs, products, services, and strategies with an explicit focus on reducing the racial wealth gap. Working with community advocates and credit unions, the Incubator will conduct live tests of products, strategies, and partnerships specifically designed to address disparities in economic outcomes affecting Black and Brown communities. 

The goal for the REE Incubator program is that it will bring about:

  • Greater credit union activity and impact in addressing racial economic disparities
  • Provide proven and replicable models credit unions can deploy to address disparities in their communities
  • Facilitate deeper collaborations between credit unions and community advocates and stakeholders

Will you join us?

This is an invitation to credit unions to innovate in a competitive way that also impacts the community. Through the REE Incubator, credit unions will learn how to expand their resources and opportunities in a way that creates products that will give them more access to market share.

This will require a systemic shift. Credit unions will be called to abandon risk-averse practices in favor of considerations that account for lived experiences. In this way, we are testing opportunities and innovations to change the trajectory of households around THEIR needs to create thriving and integrated communities that are predicated on reducing the wealth gap.

We invite you to join us in bringing the power of the credit union movement to push for racial economic equity.

Related Content