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SHREVEPORT, La. – The African-American Credit Union Coalition is gearing up to mark the centennial celebration of the nation’s first credit union. In 2008, the movement will mark the anniversary of the first CU established in the United States. For its part, the AACUC said it will form a new archive/history committee that will lead efforts to gather the history of CUs from an African-American perspective, said Helen Godfrey, AACUC chairwoman and president/CEO of Shreveport FCU. “African Americans have not been left totally out of the history of the credit union movement, but we do see a void in information concerning the community based credit unions, the education credit unions and the African American church based credit unions which were so instrumental in bringing financial services to minority communities,” Godfrey said. State leagues will be called upon to identify people in their states who are knowledgeable of this aspect of their state history, she added. “We can give a voice to those pioneers who struggled against overwhelming odds to keep their credit unions alive,” Godfrey said. “Many of these were volunteers. It’s the least we can do for those who gave so much and gained so little.” Members of the new archive/history committee will be announced at the AACUC’s networking and reception meeting on Feb. 28 during CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington. The AACUC has also invited Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams to be its keynote speaker at the GAC reception. Stephen Delfin, executive director at the National Credit Union Foundation, is also scheduled to speak. The Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement Award winner will also be announced. This award recognizes Crear, executive vice president of external relations for CUNA, who has served in the industry at various state leagues and helped organize more than 20 credit unions over his 40-year career. Crear received the AACUC award in 2003 and William Porter, president/CEO of $1 billion Municipal Credit Union, received it in 2004. AACUC’s committee chairs of membership, internship and mentorship will also provide progress reports and training sessions will be held to help strengthen the board in various areas of non-profit operations, Godfrey said. [email protected]

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