REE Incubator Details
Millions of Americans—particularly those in communities of color—lack access to responsible credit, affordable financial products, and institutions that support their overall well-being. Financial institutions have long been mistrusted by marginalized and vulnerable communities—often for good reason, considering deep histories of discrimination and disinvestment. However, as cooperative financial institutions embedded within communities, credit unions have tremendous potential to affect positive systemic change.
Filene is expanding on its 15+ successful track record of testing and scaling solutions by partnering with Urban Strategies, Inc. and Native Women Lead to create the Racial Economic Equity (REE) Incubator.
The REE Incubator will take a unique approach to addressing wealth gaps by inviting a small group of credit unions already partnering with community organizations to apply together and participate. As a cohort, they will help create a framework for incorporating racial equity into financial programs, products, services, and strategies with an explicit focus on reducing the racial wealth gap.
Partnerships and insights from the REE Incubator
The REE Incubator provides participants with access to national experts in financial inclusion, a network of like-minded innovators to share experiences and results, and a committed team of coaches and partners to help navigate the systemic and local inequalities that credit unions face. Over the next 12 months, the first REE Incubator cohort will work to identify opportunities to test, refine and evaluate strategies to close the racial wealth gap, and develop a process map centering an equity lens. Some of the questions we will answer include:
- What do communities across America need and want to advance racial economic equity?
- How can credit unions be a more effective partner in reaching these goals?
- How explicit are credit unions in advancing financial equity when working with partners and programs?
- How do we build the REE Incubator to bring the collective power of the credit union movement together to accelerate racial economic equity?
Eight Credit Unions Selected for Racial Economic Equity Incubator
Averaging $2.6B in assets, participating credit unions serve 11 states, partnering with 12 community service organizations to co-create products for BIPOC families.
Webinar: Advancing Racial Economic Equity through Credit Union and Community Partnerships
Review the webinar materials from Advancing Racial Economic Equity through Credit Union and Community Partnerships, hosted on November 3, 2022.
Becoming Effective Partners in Advancing Racial Economic Equity
Filene has spent the last year exploring questions and listening for ideas on how the “broader” credit union system can address systemic barriers that prevent equitable access to financial services and strengthen economic resources to close racial wealth gaps.