Worldwide Foundation Supports Champions’ Joint DEI Effort
Three WF supporters launch website to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
February 25, 2021
MADISON, Wis.—Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions applauds Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU), Civic Federal Credit Union and the African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) for launching DEI Talks, a website to advocate for the proposed 8th Cooperative Principle that is focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
The site promotes DEI as an expansion of the philosophical tenets currently embraced by cooperatives globally. The values of diversity, or plurality as it is often understood outside of the U.S., equity and inclusion are ideologies already ingrained within the cooperative community. The credit union and AACUC leaders believe it is past time to declare these as guiding principles.
“We were honored to be invited to participate and partner in the DEI Talks initiative and will prioritize content connected to this critical topic in the near future,” said Mike Reuter, Executive Director of the Worldwide Foundation. “Local Government, Civic FCU and AACUC’s leadership role in supporting DEI Talks aligns completely with WF’s role in helping Bridge the Gap—inclusion gaps that our members and peers feel every day, worldwide.”
“Cooperatives support the notion that every member of a community has an inalienable right to exercise the doctrines presented in the cooperative principles,” said LGFCU and Civic Chief Executive Officer Maurice Smith. “I see an opportunity to reaffirm our values and explore new opportunities. It is time to consider where diversity, plurality and inclusion for all of us stands today. I think the time is right to officially recognize the 8th Principle as part of the credit union and cooperative philosophy.”
Smith challenges cooperatives globally to become champions for the cause. The DEI Talks site allows for organizations to publicly pledge their commitment to the 8th Principle. Champions are able to display this commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion on the site, and are encouraged to promote the 8th Principle on their own websites and social media channels.
“These values of plurality will not be short-lived,” said Renée Sattiewhite, AACUC President and Chief Executive Officer, who emphasizes the importance of DEI as a Cooperative Principle. “It’s the right thing to do. DEI lines up with our core principles and values, and that is why it is lasting.”
The call to action by the credit unions and the AACUC is for all cooperative communities to continue to embrace the values of DEI, and pledge their commitment to the 8th Principle at DEITalks.com.
DEI is at the heart of the credit union movement’s DNA. As the Worldwide Foundation strives to help expand credit unions worldwide through engagement, they will continue to advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion of thought to reach audiences and voices in local communities that are served by credit unions—and those yet to have a credit union aiding their growth.
The Worldwide Foundation is the fundraising and engagement arm of the World Council. Join us on a global journey to transform a billion lives worldwide using credit unions. Visit www.doglobalgood.org/btg to start your global journey and join the Bridge the Gap campaign.
Local Government Federal Credit Union serves North Carolina’s local government employees, elected/appointed officials, volunteers and their families. The $2 billion federally chartered Credit Union is a cooperative of more than 370,000 members associated with various facets of local government in North Carolina’s 100 counties and 546 municipalities.
Civic Federal Credit Union was created in response to changes in banking needs and advancements in financial services. With technology that makes it easier to access money, Civic reaches members beyond the branch. Civic has a decidedly local focus, serving the employees and volunteers of local governments in North Carolina as well as its small business community.
The African-American Credit Union Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. AACUC is comprised of professionals and volunteers in the credit union industry. The organization works to promote personal and professional growth of its members and advocates to improve the economic development of communities that are often underserved. AACUC supports programs that include expanding the interest and increasing the number of minorities in the credit union movement, and increasing outreach of the credit union movement in African countries and in the United States through mentoring, scholarship programs and more.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 86,055 credit unions in 118 countries serve 291 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.