MADISON, Wis. (10/20/14)--Clarence Hall Jr. may not be a household name in the credit union movement, but the work that he has done for financial literacy and civil rights is a legacy that is being recognized by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF).
Hall, CEO/chairman of $1 million-asset Issaquena County FCU, Mayerville, Miss., will be honored with the Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in March. The 90-year-old credit union and civil rights advocate is one of four honorees this year (News Now Oct. 7).
Hall's work has been "absolutely inspiring in building a better life in a downtrodden part of our nation," said John Gregoire, chair of NCUF Wegner Awards selection committee and president of The ProCon Group. "Roy Bergengren used to say that the credit union's real job is to prove the practicality of the brotherhood of man, and Clarence's achievements align perfectly with those words."
Hall's belief in the "people-helping-people" philosophy is reflected throughout his life. However, he also takes to heart the credit union values of promoting thrift and providing loans for provident and productive purposes.
He takes the opportunity to teach financial skills at the same time he is providing opportunities to low-income members to borrow money. "In a county recognized as one of Mississippi's poorest, Clarence has been very instrumental in helping citizens acquire loans that they had been denied through other traditional financial institutions," said Spencer Nash, president/CEO of the Delta Foundation.
During his career, Hall advocated for voting rights, early childhood education and the right for African-Americans to be elected to public office.
"Clarence has not only suffered, he fought hard for what we would all consider to be basic rights and equality for all Americans," said Charles Elliott, president/CEO of the Mississippi Credit Union Association, which named Hall to the Mississippi Credit Union Hall of Fame.
NCUF will present the Wegner awards during a March 9 dinner at the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C., and held in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference.