YWCA Utah was thrilled to read this month’s SheMoney newsletter by Jacki Zehner and learn more about the important history of Black-owned Banks in the United States. The history of racism in America has always been deeply tied to the history of financial sovereignty being stripped away from black communities. From redlining, to racial disparities in the ownership of financial institutions, financial sovereignty still to this day remains a struggle in the movement towards eliminating racism. Economic disparities are a focal point in all of YWCA Utah’s work, from fighting for affordable housing, to preparing survivors on our campus with job interview skills to help them lead self-sufficient lives, we know that empowering our communities must involve economic empowerment.
Black-ownership of financial institutions are on the rise, with 16 banks now having Black leadership, and Utah soon being home to the 17th, we are seeing steps being taken towards closing these gaps in disparities amongst leadership. Dr. Bernice A. King and Ashley Bell, two accomplished lawyers, business people, and trailblazers, paid a visit to Utah last January to mark a new milestone, the first time Black investors have bought a non-minority-owned bank in the United States. Once the deal receives approval, Redemption Bank will be led under Dr.King’s and Bell’s leadership, with Bell serving as CEO and Dr. King as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategies and Alliances. In conversation with Jacki Zehner, Founder of SheMoney & ShePlace, Ashley Bell touches on the importance of this rise in Black-owned financial institutions:
“In neighborhoods created by discriminatory practices like redlining, Black-owned banks are often the only source for reasonable, fair, and non-predatory lending. And because they practice relationship banking—a system of lending that looks beyond credit score to holistically understand an applicant’s financial situation—they are a vital and singular lifeline for Black entrepreneurs and households.” – Ashley Bell
Head to the link below to register for a LinkedIn Live conversation between Jacki Zehner and Ashley Bell, to hear more about the importance of Black-owned banks, on August 29th, 12:00pm-1:00pm.