CUNA issues report in response to June board resolution

August 11, 2020

CUNA responded Monday to its Board of Directors’ June 4 resolution committing to advance equitable service to Black communities with a report outlining commitments the organization has made to address service to and inclusion of Black people, communities and credit union professionals across the credit union movement. 

“Though CUNA has long advocated to expand credit unions’ ability to reach more members through the reduction of legislative and regulatory membership restrictions, the organization began last year to implement internal- and external-facing DEI teams within the organization to better reflect the credit union mission to serve those most often left out of financial systems,” the report reads. “The work of these teams set a foundation of understanding to create momentum for change across the movement.”

Steps outlined in the report include:

  • Working to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Through direct engagement with a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) expert, CUNA has added “inclusive” as an internal core value, engaged employees through forums and engagement groups and is developing a DEI guide to capture goals, guidelines and agreed-upon approach to continue employees’ journey of learning. CUNA also named Samira Salem to the newly created position of vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Expanding DEI across the credit union movement, including promoting DEI as a shared credit union cooperative principle. CUNA is continuing concerted efforts to diversify speakers, presenters and panelists at various events, and continues collaboration with system partners and experts on DEI training for credit unions.
  • Partnering with the African American Credit Union Coalition to understand, speak out and support efforts to break down systems that enable racism. CUNA supports AACUC’s Commitment to Change: Credit Unions Against Racism initiative and joined AACUC and League efforts to create a scholarship fund to assist AACUC members pursue professional development opportunities within the credit union system.

The report also notes that CUNA, along with the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL), encourages credit unions and supporting organizations to support the AACUC’s Commitment to change and sign the DEI Collective pledge.

The report adds that CUNA’s work to further invest in DEI does not end with the report, rather CUNA remains committed to creating and fostering opportunities for Black staff.

“CUNA continues to work with the American Association of Credit Union Leagues, AACUC, the Foundation, and other system partners to enhance the recruitment and advancement of Black credit union professionals in CUNA committees, to the CUNA Board, and across the movement,” the report concludes. “And we collectively invest in research and solutions to improve the financial services and solutions that credit unions across the country can provide to Black communities across the country.”