AACUC’s mission and diversity statement are the core of what the organization strives to achieve in the credit union space. Our mission is to increase diversity within the credit union community through advocacy and professional development.
Here is our Statement on Diversity:
The African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) recognizes the differences and distinctions of each individual, group, or organization that are represented in society and within the credit union movement. In alignment with the AACUC’s history and goals, we define diversity in our mission to express the inclusion, advocacy, and support of African-Americans throughout the credit union community and at large. Notwithstanding, the AACUC welcomes the membership of all individuals, groups and organizations in furtherance of its mission to strengthen the global credit union movement.
AACUC accomplishes this through collaborating with members on the Advocacy Committee, other trade organizations such as the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions, World Council of Credit Unions CUNA and CUNA Mutual Group.
Our Mentorship Committee, the Reaching Toward the Future Internship Program and are annual conference are great avenues to provide professional development opportunities. Members of our Board of Directors and Leadership speak at different conferences throughout the year along with participating on panels sharing their various experiences and “how to’s” in moving up the corporate ladder.
Credit unions are facing many challenges from advancing technology to a shifting workforce as baby boomers retire and the next generation comes up to the plate. How can AACUC help credit unions and credit union professionals meet these changing demands in the movement?
AACUC strives to be a conduit and a connector to our credit unions, vetting companies that offer technological solutions and helping our members to have choices in their solutions providers. Our annual conference has workshops that help credit union professionals learn about best practices of products and services that are geared to baby boomers and next generations. We call that WIN-WIN-WIN. 1) Our member credit unions WIN because they can make informed decisions regarding appropriate products and services to meet the needs of their credit unions; 2) Vendors WIN because they can offer solutions to our members; and 3) AACUC WINs because we are able to assist our members and bring value to membership and our vendor partners.
What does the future look like for the AACUC?
Transformational change – more streamlined focus on professional development and mentorship through groups like Young Professionals, the future leaders of the organization, as well as placing more emphasis on continuing collaborations and spreading the word about diversity in credit unions.
AACUC will expand upon professional development at their annual meeting, which will be held in Atlanta this August. During the conference, they will also host a Financial Reality Fair for the seventh year in a row. With volunteer support, 80-100 students participate in the fair, which is an outreach opportunity geared toward teaching financial basics and introducing credit unions to kids in the community.
Continuing to collaborate is important for spreading the word about diversity and gaining recognition as a trusted entity. Partnerships with key stakeholders in the credit union movement that were mentioned earlier.
“Through name alone, AACUC has gained much recognition and aspires to be the go-to for African Americans within credit unions,” said Sheilah Montgomery, Co-Founder and first President. She admits, “That “no man is an island, so we want to continue to be more collaborative, to be a part of that whole skyscraper of organizations.”