The moment is right to celebrate the dawn of the Credit Union Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collective. The Collective reflects our commitment to the cooperative operating principles, values, and philosophy. The objective is to better fulfill the credit union mission of providing financial inclusion, well-being, and dignity to all. This is a mighty charge. But credit unions are structurally designed to help people…all people, and financial equity and inclusion can be best accomplished by working together. The Collective serves as a catalyst for coming together to create positive change in the lives of the members and communities we serve.

As we aspire to grow and nurture a more equitable and inclusive credit union space, first we need to dream it. It is my hope that the Collective marks a new chapter for the American credit union family.. Together we can further the view that, as far as our movement is concerned, membership truly means to belong and financial equity and inclusion are about providing safe and affordable financial services that advance financial well-being for all. Never has this been more important.

U.S. credit unions have made great strides in providing access to financial services to more than 120 million consumers. But, as a movement, there is much more to be done to truly reflect and serve the diversity of people in our society. Already, data shows that younger generations are far more diverse than the older cohorts. As such, being relevant in the future requires inclusiveness in workforce, in service offerings, and in leadership.

Our cooperative business model is based on principles tasking us to work collectively to improve people’s lives. Let us honor these principles by joining forces to lift the voices and spirits of those who need it most. With your engagement, the Collective will help credit unions become unapologetically inclusive. Success in this endeavor means creating a space in which everybody feels welcome and encouraged to partake. Let’s include equitably and relentlessly.

This DEI journey is underway. This is an open invitation to join us.