The African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) was created to increase the strength of the global credit union community. We are a non-profit organization of African-American professionals and volunteers in the credit union industry.
"To increase diversity within the credit
union community through advocacy
and professional development."
AACUC 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.
Calendar of Events
AACUC 22nd Annual Conference
August 17 - August 20, 2021
TradeWinds Island Grand Resort
Black Recruitment Tops Agenda
for African-American CU Coalition's New Chair
Larry Sewell, chairman of the African-American Credit Union Coalition and vice president for corporate partnerships and advocacy at Together Credit Union
Larry Sewell is taking over as chairman of the African-American Credit Union Coalition during a time of massive social upheaval.
Demonstrators have taken to the streets for months to protest the treatment of Black Americans after George Floyd died while in police custody in May. As a result, the country is paying greater attention to issues of race and social justice.
Different organizations within the credit union industry have created their own initiatives to help combat racism. The African-American Credit Union Coalition has been at the forefront of this by launching Commitment to Change: Credit Unions Unite Against Racism, which will focus on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.
More than 1,000 people registered to participate in its Commitment to Change conversation series last month. The event’s purpose was to encourage those within the industry to think more about diversity and inclusion.
Sewell, vice president for corporate partnerships and advocacy at the $2 billion-asset Together Credit Union in St. Louis, will help oversee Credit Unions Unite Against Racism and other efforts during the next year. He believes the industry needs to be more intentional in its efforts to reach underserved communities and in recruiting Black leaders to serve in the C-suite.
“If I’m a CEO and I look around and I am of a certain race and everyone looks like me, then I need to make a conscious decision to make that change,” Sewell said. “I need to step out and get out of my comfort zone, and recruit and hire someone who will bring even more value to my credit union.”
The following is an edited transcript of a conversation with Sewell.
What are your priorities for the next year as chairman
of the African American Credit Union Coalition?
First and foremost, we will keep the Commitment to Change ongoing — Credit Unions Unite Against Racism. We will continue that initiative throughout this year and probably into next year. We have received such outstanding support and recognition from credit union leaders throughout the country. That’s very encouraging to us.
I’m very proud that the African-American Credit Union Coalition was the organization to step up to get these national conversations going… Now it has gotten to the point where more people are recognizing [how Black Americans are treated] because they are seeing it. In the past, it wasn’t seen.
There has been a greater focus on serving traditionally underserved communities. How can credit unions do a better job of that?
No. 1 is making a commitment to get more involved and doing a better job, and then holding ourselves accountable once we make the commitment. Those words sound easy to do.
The majority of credit unions are fairly small and they are in smaller communities. The challenge for credit unions is keeping those smaller credit unions open and viable. That’s really important. Not every credit union is a $1 billion[-asset] credit union. They might be a $10 million or a $5 million[-asset] credit union.