Credit Unions Approve Resolution to Establish Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a New Cooperative

Local Government Federal and Civic Federal Credit Unions Approve Resolution to Establish Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a New Cooperative Principle

NC. - Local Government Federal Credit Union and Civic Federal Credit Union Boards of Directors, led by Maurice Smith, Chief Executive Officer, have voted in favor of a resolution to establish diversity, equity and inclusion as an 8th Cooperative Principle for the Credit Unions they govern, and to encourage other cooperatives to follow suit.

Currently, the credit union movement embraces seven cooperative principles as a set of philosophical beliefs outlining what distinguishes cooperatives from other organizations, illustrating their core values, economic models, and governance practices. The 8th Cooperative Principle establishes that diversity, equity and inclusion is an ideal that should be pursued and is a provocation to actively seek changes in public policy and private practice that advance economic justice, human dignity and community development.

Both Credit Unions have been drivers of diversity, equity and inclusion. In February of this year, Smith called on U.S. credit unions to include diversity, equity and inclusion as a cooperative principle, which led to the Board of Directors of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) passing a resolution in favor of establishing Diversity Equity and Inclusion as the 8th Cooperative Principle.

Smith specified, "I believe the time is right for a new cooperative principle focused on diversity and inclusion. There is no better sector than credit unions to lead the charge for an aspiring new standard."

He continued, "In passing this resolution, we're continuing our work to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within our organization while we strongly encourage measures throughout our movement and across all cooperatives to do the same."

LGFCU and Civic FCU have a Core Value to "Pursue and Celebrate Diversity" that serves as a driving force behind the Credit Unions’ operations.

According to Mark Caverly, President of LGFCU, "Our CEO, Maurice Smith, has begun an initiative for diversity, equity and inclusion that has shown the credit union movement, and the world, how successful our practice of ensuring and encouraging diversity in a business can be. Through our adoption of the new 8th Cooperative Principle, LGFCU demonstrates that our DEI initiatives are not just the right thing to do morally and socially, but also make good business sense."

The resolution adopted by their boards sets forth that Local Government Federal Credit Union and Civic Federal Credit Union support the 8th Cooperative Principle, which asserts an unambiguous commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and a call to action for the credit union movement to do likewise.

Smith explained, "Working together, diversity, equity and inclusion create a powerful force for credit unions' success. We need to hold each other accountable for equality, equity and opportunity for members, volunteers and credit union professionals. It must be everywhere, from the grassroots of our communities to the top of our credit unions, or we will not fully serve our purpose."

This new cooperative principle is one of the first steps towards committing to DEI as a guiding principle for credit unions and other cooperatives. We look forward to sharing more of our credit unions initiatives moving forward with our commitment to the 8th Cooperative Principle.

Local Government Federal Credit Union serves North Carolina’s local government employees, elected/appointed officials, volunteers and their families. The $2 billion federally chartered Credit Union is a cooperative of more than 360,000 members associated with various facets of local government in North Carolina’s 100 counties and 546 municipalities.

Civic Federal Credit Union was created in response to changes in banking needs and advancements in financial services. With technology that makes it easier to access money, Civic reaches members beyond the branch. Civic has a decidedly local focus, serving the employees and volunteers of local governments in North Carolina as well as its small business community.