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In May 2020 following the murder of George Floyd, it seemed every organization in the U.S. began shouting about their intentions to commence – or ramp up – efforts to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion through a megaphone. Within the credit union industry, new DEI-focused groups formed, DEI-specific executive roles were filled, and plans were made to infuse DEI into both workplace culture and the way member business is conducted. Credit unions and credit union organizations that had not yet explored DEI boldly said, “The time is now, and we’re going to do everything we can to contribute to positive change.”

Now almost two years later, with the number of announcements of new DEI programs, DEI executive hires and declarations of commitment to DEI having dwindled significantly, it can feel like the movement has lost steam. But in fact, the silence is an indication that credit unions have reached a new phase of their DEI journeys. Instead of launching new initiatives and proudly sharing details about them with the public, credit union leaders have been busy working on implementing these initiatives, tracking their results and making adjustments.

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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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