CUNA Board Chairman Maurice Smith was featured in Associations Now, the magazine of the American Society of Association Executives, Friday, in an interview stemming from the op-ed Smith wrote for Black History Month. Smith, who is also the president/CEO of Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C., said diversity and inclusion belong among the core principles of the cooperative movement.
“While the principles touch on fairness, openness and democracy, there is no principle that comes out and openly touts the idea of inclusion and diversity,” said Smith, who said he proposed the change during Black History Month because the month “reminds us that society benefits when equality and equity prevail.”
Smith noted that the seven cooperative principles were established in 1844, decades before the Emancipation Proclamation, and more than 60 years before women had the right to vote.
“It’s different today than it was then. We have changed as a world and changed as a co-op community,” he said.