The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 32

MANAGEMENT INSIGHT

Racial Justice Uprising
Presents a Moment of
Truth for Credit Unions
By Jim Spradlin

O

ne thing everyone can agree on
is that 2020 has been a challenge. From the COVID-19
pandemic to social unrest, we
have all had to work to adjust our business
to meet the changing needs of our communities. Park Community Credit Union is in
Louisville, Ky. - one of the cities that has
been most visible during recent events due
to the death of Breonna Taylor.

For Park Community, and all credit
unions, this represents a moment of
truth. The passion of our industry was
built around serving people who were
unable to access traditional financial
services - the underserved. In fact,
many credit unions think serving these
consumers is core to our mission. Many
of us work daily to bring fair and affordable services to everyone, regardless of
race or socioeconomic status. This is
our opportunity, both individually and
collectively, to use our voices to support,
change and heal our communities.
But how do you start? First, talk to your
staff; you may be surprised by how passionate they are about wanting the credit
union to speak up. Talk to your community partners. Don't be afraid to reach out
to people you trust and respect, and ask
about current events. Ask them how they
feel and how they would like to see your
credit union get involved. Finally, let your
board know how you feel and what position you think the credit union should take.
Realize that everyone will appreciate your
vulnerability and desire to listen to their
32

thoughts and concerns. Be aware, though,
that you must go into these conversations
with a willingness to listen to all sides and a
commitment to act upon what you hear.
The next step is a simple one: Don't be
afraid to take a stand for what is right.
In our current situation, working to
expose racism, corruption or any type
of abuse is everyone's responsibility. If
we, together, aren't willing to step up,
nothing will change.
At Park Community, we took the step
of issuing a public statement that
acknowledged the hurt and pain in the
community and the need for change. We
promised to be a part of the change. This
was followed by a statement from our
sister charitable organization, Nspire, that
also spoke against the pain of racism. As a
precursor to the statements being released,
I made a personal statement to staff that
explained my feelings and experiences
and why it was important that we all had
a responsibility to fight against racism,
injustice and violence. It is important that
your staff hear it directly from their leaders before it is in widespread release.

Finally, once you have spoken, be
prepared to back it up. Your words and
the words of your company become
public record. You must be willing to
look at yourself and your credit union
and examine the record of how you have
confronted bias in the past. Are your
hiring practices effective and offering
opportunity to all? Are your products
and services available and accessible? Do
your employees believe in the mission? If
not, are you willing to make the necessary
changes? And know that not everyone,
internal or external to the organization,
will agree with you.
This is the time for credit unions to lead
and ask how we foster a change that is
long overdue. For the country to have
to admit we are still battling racism and
injustice is disheartening. Today, we have
an opportunity as an industry to be a
leader in changing the way we treat and
respect people of all races. People helping people: It should become our call
to action.
Jim Spradlin is president and CEO of Park
Community Credit Union in Louisville, Ky.

THE NAFCU JOURNAL SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2020



The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020

The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - Cover1
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - Cover2
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 1
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 2
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 3
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 4
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 5
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 6
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 7
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 8
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 9
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 10
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 11
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 12
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 13
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 14
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 15
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 16
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 17
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 18
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 19
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 20
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 21
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 22
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 23
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 24
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 25
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 26
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 27
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 28
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 29
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 30
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 31
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 32
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 33
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 34
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 35
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 36
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 37
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 38
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 39
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - 40
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - Cover3
The NAFCU Journal September-October 2020 - Cover4
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