Banks, credit unions pool resources to give $130K to new equity initiatives

Local News

Thirteen banks and credit unions serving the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities have pooled resources to give more than $130,000 to the United Way’s United for Equity Fund, created to address and solve inequities in education, income and health.

Among the financial institutions are Ascentra Credit Union, Bank of America, BankORION, Blackhawk Bank & Trust, Blue Grass Savings Bank, Deere Employees Credit Union, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, Northwest Bank and Trust, Quad City Bank & Trust, R.I.A. Federal Credit Union, SENB Bank, TBK Bank and The Family Credit Union. a news release says.

“We are so grateful to the Quad-Cities area’s financial leaders for their inspiring collaboration to drive equitable change — and proud to be part of this unprecedented collaboration,” United Way President/CEO Rene Gellerman said.

Northwest Bank and Trust President and CEO Joe Slavens was an early supporter of the United for Equity project, and personally reached out to executives to do their part to raise living standards for everyone in the community.

“This year, the spotlight on COVID-19 has been shared by the painful reality that despite the progress we have made to reduce minority disenfranchisement, we still have so much more to do,” Slavens said. “And, while we might like to think that inequity does not exist in Quad Cities, the United Way and the African American Leadership Society have tracked racial disparities that divide the community in areas that affect quality of life.”

Outreach efforts have resulted in local financial institutions accounting for more than half of the $200,000 goal for the United Equity Fund. The fund will provide grants to social entrepreneurs, grassroots organizations and nonprofits advancing innovative efforts aimed to reduce racial disparities.

“United Way uses its resources and networks to bring the best people, ideas and projects together to create opportunities for all Quad Citizens,” Slavens said. “By coming together — as executives, co-workers or individuals — we can change not just the statistics, but more importantly, the lives of our fellow Quad Citizens.”

To learn more about United Way Quad Cities and the United for Equity project, visit www.unitedwayqc.org. More information about the United for Equity grants will be available noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at the virtual event Courageous Conversations: Equity in Action.

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