In honoring Black History Month, Tim Anderson, board chair of the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC), and CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle co-authored an op-ed that highlights how credit unions and civil rights are similar in how they “do for others.”
Anderson is also president/CEO of Government Printing Office FCU, Washington, D.C.
The op-ed begins with thoughts from Dr. Martin Luther King: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
The following is an excerpt from the piece:
“If you didn’t know those words were Dr. King’s, that quote could easily be attributed to Edward Filene or one of many of the credit union movement’s founders.
"Admittedly, credit unions and civil rights exist on different planes of America’s consciousness, but they both share simple basic philosophies of 'doing for others' and inclusiveness.
"As we celebrate Black History Month to honor those who have personally sacrificed and dedicated themselves to civil rights so that others may enjoy more individual freedoms, it is also a time for credit union leaders to reflect on the opportunities they have to follow the leadership lessons of our greatest freedom fighters, such as Dr. King, Rosa Parks, and so many others.
"AACUC and CUNA provide opportunities for credit union leaders to carve out their own legacies of mentorship, leadership and advocacy to carry on our rich philosophy of people helping people, or, as Dr. King put it so succinctly, 'doing for others.'
"AACUC’s mission is to increase diversity within the credit union community through advocacy and professional development. In serving that mission we promote internships, scholarships and mentorship programs as well as employment, volunteer and networking opportunities for African-Americans throughout the credit union system.
"Affiliation with AACUC, regardless of one’s ethnicity or background, is an opportunity to not only expand the reach of the credit union movement but to elevate the cultural significance of our movement’s leadership and advocacy efforts.
"CUNA likewise advocates the spirit of inclusion not only in February but 12 months a year. This month CUNA will host the “Crash the GAC” program at the annual CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. Through the “Crash” program, The Cooperative Trust and CUNA provide opportunities for up-and-coming credit union professionals to take part in GAC keynote and breakout sessions, visit congressional leaders in Hike the Hill advocacy meetings, and network with 5,000 credit union leaders attending CUNA GAC.
"Developing engaged, new leaders who are shaped by these kinds of culturally rich experiences is critical to the future success of the credit union movement as we meet the challenges and opportunities presented by a culture that is both increasingly diverse and, at times, divergent.
"On behalf of the AACUC and CUNA, we hope you embrace the resources and opportunities our organizations offer during Black History Month, and all of 2017, to help others feel accepted, empowered and uplifted."