This article was written by Kathleen Hustad, North Minneapolis Rotary
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Debra Hurston, Executive Director of the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP), knows all too well how financial institutions can make people feel supported or let down.
“Sharing your financial information can feel very vulnerable and there has to be an atmosphere of trust,” says Hurston. “Even if the response to what you need is a no, there are ways to say you’re not ready for this yet…but we can help you get there.”
It’s this sense of possibility and building a solid pathway forward in creating financial opportunities, that has led Hurston to assist ABEP in establishing Minnesota’s first Black-led community credit union.
“We’re all about effecting positive change, empowering growth and driving economic stability for everyone,” says Hurston. “But to make it a reality, we need the support, input and involvement of our community to bring the Village Financial Credit Union to life.”
Hurston shared her journey of leading efforts and breaking down barriers to ensure North Minneapolis has access to a community-led credit union as the featured community speaker at the May 17 weekly meeting of the North Minneapolis Rotary Club.
Credit unions are made up and governed by their members, not by shareholders – and are able to offer lower fees and rates than banks. In essence, credit unions are birthed by the community – you. This is your opportunity to create, support and endorse Village Financial Credit Union – to help address systemic financial challenges impacting our residents, particularly people of color.
The credit union will be a safe space to share your financial aspirations – and build long-term relationships. The aim is to provide financial products and services to our unbanked and underbanked residents, creating an environment of choice, so when you walk through the door, you feel like you belong.
In order for the credit union to open, it’s essential regulators know there is a vested interest from the community.
There is a short two-minute survey community members can complete to make their voice heard. The community is defined as anyone who lives, works, attends school, volunteers or worships in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties as well as members of their family.
Show your support today! First, let your voice be heard by completing the short New Credit Union Community Survey: Scan the QR code or visit learnaboutvillage.org/pre-customer-survey.
Any pledge amounts let the regulators know that you support the credit union coming to to North Minneapolis. These pledges are based on best intent and because everyone’s financial picture can change, there is no obligation or contract to follow through if life happens.
Share the QR code and link on your social networks with friends and family and be sure to use our hashtag #IPledgedVillageCU! If you have connections to Hennepin County, your friend’s and family’s voices count as well. Feel free to share this info with them and encourage them to take the survey as well.
By filling out the survey, you are playing an important part in opening the credit union for all to access. Even though the credit union may not become your primary financial institution, your voice helps open a new community-lead organization that can help and lift up individuals experiencing barriers to access. In two minutes, you will play a part in helping thousands of your neighbors and future generations gain access and build wealth.
Imagine how good it will feel helping our neighborhood families and strengthen the community with a credit union where everyone can be their authentic self and get the trusted one-on-one support that only the new credit union can offer.
Stay tuned for exciting updates. Keep a lookout for your chance to vote on a final name for the credit union! For info contact Debra Hurston on 651-278-1926 or learnaboutvillage.org/pre-customer-survey.
Note: This is part of a new series of occasional columns sponsored by the North Minneapolis Rotary where we feature community leaders and change makers who speak at our club as well as other amazing things happening in our community.
Get ready to get involved in the North Minneapolis Rotary and help support our vibrant, thriving community every Tuesday by Zoom from 7:35-8:35 a.m. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request the link or to explore upcoming events, such as the Northside Ramble bike ride on August 20, visit rotarynorthmpls.org.