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It’s been nearly two years since I stepped into the role of vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at CUNA. Before taking on this role, my family and I went on a road trip. We started in Wisconsin with a destination of our new home in Portland, Ore. After teary goodbyes, my husband, our 10-year-old daughter, mom and poodle got into our SUV and drove across the country. We had fun, discovered new places, dreamt about what life would be like in our new home, and my daughter tortured us with the age-old family road trip question, “Are we there yet?”

Before I took on this role, many of us working on DEI in our movement could see the writing on the wall for financial institutions. We knew we weren’t close to being “there” yet. And yet we saw increasing pressure from policymakers and regulators around the need for more diversity in our ranks and greater financial inclusion and equity. Then came the summer of 2020 when we witnessed the traumatic murder of George Floyd, which sparked a long-overdue national reckoning with racial injustice. As if that wasn’t enough, the pandemic exposed the awful truth that Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latino and LGBTQ+ people, and women (especially women of color), were disproportionately impacted by deep inequities.

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