GOING BEYOND WORDS
At the Illinois Credit Union System, our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a core value of our business and embedded in the fabric of our culture…
We continually strive to foster a better experience for our internal teams, the credit union industry and the community. It is critical to look beyond what you see on the surface to value the most important resource we have as a company and as an industry – respected, diverse human beings. The League has formed an employee-led DEI committee and dedicated resources for community outreach, professional development, DEI advancement and awareness initiatives for credit unions through projects, activities, events and resources.
Diversity is the range of human differences and Inclusion is involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized. Our goal is to not only serve as the thought leaders but as an action-driven organization going beyond words to create a company culture that actively supports diversity and inclusion and supports the efforts of our credit union partners striving for the same goals.
Giving back to the communities we serve is at the credit union core. With that in mind, we are excited to introduce a new charity each month that supports, protects and empowers marginalized members of our community.
September is Hunger Action Month, which was started in 2008 by Feeding America as a way to raise awareness in communities about the existence of hunger and food insecurity.
For our September Charity Spotlight, we introduce you to Urban Growers Collective. Urban Growers Collective is a Black- and women-led non-profit farm in Chicago, working to build a more just and equitable local food system. Their team cultivates eight urban farms on 11 acres of land, predominantly located on Chicago’s South Side. They provide hands-on job training and work to build economic opportunity for youth, beginner BIPOC farmers, and men who are at high-risk for gun violence.
Curious about past charity spotlights? Each organization can be found in the slider featured below, click on the image to visit their website!
ADVANCING WITH ICUL
Advancing DEI at your credit union is not only important for the members you currently serve, but also for your staff and future members. It sends a message to your community that you see, celebrate and support all people. We know that implementing or growing DEI practices can be difficult, and that is why we are here to help!
The Illinois Credit Union League has made a commitment to this important work by developing resources and trainings to help educate and inspire change. Click below to explore these offerings!
AACUC Receives Anchor Award from the National Credit Union Foundation in 2022! The Anchor Award stands apart from the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards and is given by the Foundation Board of Directors to individuals and organizations that have shown incredible leadership through moments of great adversity. In celebration, please enjoy this short video where AACUC’s President & CEO, Renée Sattiewhite, delivers some inspirational words and a motivating call to action!
LEVERAGING PARTNERSHIPS IN DEI
The credit union movement knows the power of cooperation and that we can make a bigger impact when we work together. ICUL is proud to partner with many organizations within our movement whose primary focus lies in the DEI space and are making great strides in DEI advancement.
Below you will see some ways we are collaborating with DEI leaders to help credit unions advance in this space, with more to come!
Inclusiv – Inclusiv believes that true financial inclusion and empowerment is a fundamental right. They are dedicated to closing the gaps and removing barriers to financial opportunities for people living in distressed and underserved communities. Inclusiv is a certified CDFI intermediary that transforms local progress into lasting national change. They provide capital, make connections, build capacity, develop innovative products and services and advocate for our member community development credit unions (CDCUs). Inclusiv members serve over eight million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US.
Visit ICUL’s Community Development page by clicking below to see this partnership in action!
Juntos Avanzamos – Meaning “Together We Advance,” is a designation for credit unions committed to serving and empowering Hispanic and immigrant consumers by helping them navigate the U.S. financial system and providing safe, affordable and relevant financial services. Juntos Avanzamos credit unions employ bilingual, culturally-competent staff and leadership, accept alternative forms of ID and treat all of their members with respect, regardless of immigration status. First developed by the Cornerstone Credit Union League, Inclusiv is now leading the national expansion of the designation with the number of Juntos Avanzamos credit unions is rapidly expanding. Today the network includes 109 credit unions in 27 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
Read about this partnership by clicking below!
Coopera – Their name means “cooperate” in Spanish. The emerging Hispanic market is their area of expertise, which is the largest, fastest-growing, youngest and most underserved market in the U.S. As the only emerging-markets company in the credit union industry with an exclusive focus on the Hispanic member, Coopera helps credit unions grow by reaching and serving this population.
ICUL partnered with Coopera to commission the “Coopera Hispanic American Market Report 2019,” as part of ICUL’s larger goal to help credit unions better harness the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion to expand their service reach within the community. View the findings by clicking below!
LEADERS IN DEI WORK
Take a deeper dive into the amazing work happening in our industry by visiting the websites of these influential partners in DEI work!
FURTHER YOUR DEI EFFORTS
DEI SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL
Did you know that the NCUA has a free DEI self-assessment tool for credit unions? This assessment is designed to help credit unions assess existing diversity and inclusion policies and practices, and identify opportunities to implement best practices in diversity and inclusion. This tool is completely voluntary, has no effect on CAMEL ratings and is a simple way to start planning for further DEI advancement at your credit union.
Click below to take the assessment!
TAKE THE PLEDGE
The CU DEI Collective recognizes that DEI is more important now than ever. Members of the credit union movement are not alone in the DEI journey as conversations and actions are taking place in communities and organizations across the US and around the globe. The Collective invites you to join them in committing to this important work: “We need your heart, your hands and your leadership to help drive meaningful change for the benefit of all.”
Click below to sign the pledge!
SUPPORT THE 8TH
As a participant in the cooperative movement, your leadership and support is needed as the 8th Cooperative Principle focusing on DEI approaches voting and approval during the World Cooperative Congress. The Cooperative Principles were originally written in 1844, when the world looked different. By establishing an 8th Cooperative Principle, we are saying that diversity, equity and inclusion is an ideal that should be pursued.
Click below to show support!
VALUED PARTNERS IN DEI ADVANCEMENT
Envisant, CUNA Mutual Group and Federal Home Loan Bank are known for the amazing products and services they bring to the credit union movement, as well as the inclusive workplace cultures they foster. Their partnership provides the Illinois Credit Union League unparalleled support in DEI advancement efforts through generous sponsorships and knowledgeable speakers.