<p>OAKLAND, Calif. – “We don’t want to focus on differences. We want to celebrate differences.” So says Leo Hooper, chairman of the California Credit Union League’s Diversity Committee and president and chief executive officer of Pacific Bay Credit Union in Oakland. To accomplish that goal, his committee has recently released a video discussing diversity issues. The project was three years in the making. “It is meant to hit several areas,” Hooper explained. “It’s good for new employee orientation programs. It’s good for diversity issues, specifically in human resources, education and training. And it’s broad enough to be a marketing companion for credit unions when they’re talking to prospective employer groups or making presentations to citizen groups or community groups.” The video, “Diversity is Good Business,” runs approximately 15 minutes. It was designed to cover a wide range of diversity issues, not just ethnic diversity, Hooper noted. “It’s recognizing diversity at all levels, not just ethnic diversity,” he said. “There’s also cultural diversity, specifically with 9-11, so that we recognize difference in cultures. There’s physical disabilities, age disabilities and gender issues.” “We want to celebrate all levels of diversity so that when we talk to people, when we market and when we listen we understand there are a lot of issues other than just what people think diversity is,” he said. The committee also announced that it had revised a 1999 English-to-Spanish glossary of financial terms. The new version translates more than 1,000 business and financial terms from English to Spanish as well as from Spanish to English. The video was created by MyDAS Marketing, Inc., of Boulder City, Nev. It was funded with a grant from the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation. It will be provided free of charge to league chapters and is available for purchase by league member or non-member credit unions through the league’s CU Store at www.cuproducts.com, Hooper said. The expanded “Glossary of Financial Terminology” was compiled and translated by Letty Cordon, development coordinator at the league. NSAT, a Morro Bay, Calif., certified translation firm that also translates credit union forms into Spanish for the league’s business services department, edited and proofed the glossary. The glossary is available by contacting Cordon at (800) 472-1702, ext. 3224, or via e-mail at [email protected]. Hooper, a veteran of the credit union movement, said he felt credit unions were doing a very good job on diversity issues and that the video was designed to further strengthen their efforts. “I think credit unions have always paid attention to this issue specifically in the makeup of employees in representing the communities that we serve,” he said. He said a redoubling of effort on diversity issues was especially important in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Some individuals who are or who appear to be Middle Eastern have reported being singled out across the nation for harassment. Some have been assaulted. “We’re all from somewhere but not necessarily where our physical appearance says we’re from,” Hooper said. “We need to be careful not to categorize people without understanding who they are, first as a human being and second as a member owner.” “It goes back to `people helping people.’ Credit unions are very good listeners. We need to continue that process and not jump to any conclusions.” Hooper said one thing that credit unions should do is to talk up their actions on diversity issues to educate the public about the role CUs play. “I don’t think we talk about it a lot,” he said. “I know we don’t toot our horns as much as we could or should. When you look at CRA mandates for banks, we practice that day in and day out. Communities are our business. We don’t talk a lot about it because it’s second nature to us.” -</p> <p>[email protected]</p>

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