Ask Angela Russell, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at CUNA Mutual Group, a year from now what she would want to be able to tell us about progress made in the year and she did not hesitate with her answer.
On a personal level, she said, she hoped her son would be able to go for a run outside without fear.
Professionally, she said she hoped that the conversation about race and diversity and financial inclusion would be continuing and that credit unions would still be taking positive actions, rather than today's focus on race simply fading away as just another fad.
Take a deep breath now. If you believe this will be a heavy podcast that challenges a lot of your beliefs you are right.
"We are doing better but we have a long way to go," said Russell
But also know this: Angela Russell is an engaging conversationalist (hear her personal podcast, Black Oxygen, here) who laughs often but who also puts our attention on issues we might want to ignore - but nowadays we cannot.
The US is changing. We are fast on the way to becoming a minority majority nation. Credit unions that want to stay relevant need to adapt to this changing reality and that means, among other things, tuning into the changing demographics of their communities, seeking to engage minority board members, and seeking to improve representation of multiple races and nationalities on their workforces.
It's a tall order. But now is the time.
There are many related podcasts in this series, including #100 with Victor Miguel Corro of Coopera, another CU DEI Collective member, 101 with Renee Sattiewhite of the African American Credit Union Coalition, and also Cathie Mahon, CEO of Inclusiv, also a CU DEI Collective member. And a podcast with Cliff Rosenthal, a pioneer in the CDFI world. And there's a podcast with Pablo DeFillipa, also of Inclusiv.
Another don't miss is Bill Bynum of Hope CU.
The podcast also mentions a book titled Evicted, by Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond.
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