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Bottom Line Conversations: Why Supporting Black Credit Unions Is Critical for Economic Recovery

Listen as Next City Senior Economics Correspondent Oscar Perry Abello chats with Monica Copeland about her career in financial empowerment.

February 9, 2022

Copeland will talk about her career in financial empowerment and how it’s culminated in working with minority credit unions, particularly Black credit unions, around the country to ramp up their ability to lend. As Next City has reported, Black credit unions are more numerous than other minority credit unions, but have had more difficulty making loans to their members than other minority credit unions do, or credit unions in general do. If Black credit unions loaned out at volumes equivalent to their peer institutions, they'd have more than a billion dollars more in loans on their books. Credit unions can’t solve everything when it comes to racial equity in banking and access to credit. But what can they solve? And why are they still worth the support that Copeland and her programs are providing to them?

Next City’s series “The Bottom Line” explores scalable solutions for problems related to affordability, inclusive economic growth and access to capital. The series is made possible with support from Citi.



Oscar Perry Abello is Next City's senior economics correspondent. He previously served as Next City’s editor from 2018-2019, and was a Next City Equitable Cities Fellow from 2015-2016. Since 2011, Abello has covered community development finance, community banking, impact investing, economic development, housing and more for media outlets such as Shelterforce, B Magazine, Impact Alpha, and Fast Company. Follow him on Twitter: @oscarthinks.



Monica Copeland is a Senior Program Officer at Inclusiv, a certified CDFI intermediary dedicated to closing the gaps and removing barriers to financial opportunities for people living in distressed and underserved communities. In this role, Copeland manages initiatives providing technical assistance and resources to help strengthen and grow Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) as well as implementing special projects involving financial capability. Prior to working at Inclusiv, Monica was a Senior Program Manager on the children’s savings team at Prosperity Now (formerly CFED). She has also worked on asset building and access to banking for low- and moderate-income individuals at the New York City Office of Financial Empowerment, Baltimore CASH Campaign (now known as the CASH Campaign of MD), IDA and Asset Building Collaborative of NC, and Self-Help. She earned a dual B.A. from Duke University and an M.S. in social work from Columbia University.

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This event is presented in partnership with Citi.

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