Pathways to financial well-being graphic From the Filene report, “Pathways to Financial Well-being”.

“Again, blacks were left out of a significant abundance of money and stand a significant chance of losing businesses, homes and other assets. This would be a travesty and continue to widen the wealth gap we are so desperately trying to close.” Renée Sattiewhite and I had a passionate conversation, filled with both confusion and rage, that started with this comment.

When we tell credit union colleagues that the co-authors of this article are good friends, we’re often faced with puzzled looks. Take a look at us on the surface. Renée is a black female, born in Lockhart, Texas (near Austin), and a powerful CEO of the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC), a leading advocacy and support organization for credit union organizations that are looking to be diverse and inclusive. I am a white male, born in Oshkosh, Wis., and help credit unions grow by testing innovative concepts as the incubator director for Filene Research Institute. But if you listen into one of our conversations, you will quickly discover what makes us more similar than different. We are both passionate about ensuring credit unions have equal access to products and services to assist their membership, and that they are equipped to serve the most financially vulnerable in their community.

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