DEI panel screenshot Screenshot from the July 22 DEI panel discussion.

The time for credit unions to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion is now, and credit union leaders and employees who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of implementing a comprehensive DEI program can start by taking small and even informal steps.

That was the consensus shared by speakers at a virtual DEI panel Wednesday hosted by the Young Credit Union Professionals of Oregon & Southwest Washington and Cascadia Chapter of Credit Unions, both micro-communities associated with the Northwest Credit Union Association. Hosted by CUbroadcast’s Mike Lawson, the panel featured insights from Derreck Kayongo, the Uganda-born founder of the Global Soap Project and CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta; Amy Nelson, president/CEO of Point West Credit Union ($99 million, Portland, Ore.); NWCUA President/CEO Troy Stang and Coopera CEO Victor Corro.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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