A Win for the Black Community: Village Financial Cooperative
what tragedy brought
It was on July 6, 2016 Philando Castile was murdered by St. Anthony Police leaving a community feeling powerless, angry, terrified, and left with so many questions. How could this happen? How do we recover from this tragedy? Why did this happen? How can we reclaim our power as a community?
A community seeking answers through healing, collaboration, and ensuring continued existence soon created Blexit (the real one). Blexit, a community organization seeking empowerment within black communities that challenge the root of oppressive systems by finding ways to exit them by creating and/or using replacement systems that support the community (#investdivest). With more than the idea and a plan coming to life the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP) came together and powers combined to take with action.
Thus, forming what is known as Village Trust Financial Cooperative (VTFC) a banking alternative.
big banks and people of color
Big Banks are traditional financial institutions have been known to habitually exploit and profit off of people of color through practices that focus on penalization and punishment for profit. With accessibility to traditional banking no longer being a viable option for many, people are looking for an alternative.
Members of communities of color are seeking financial institutions that they can trust, as the current relationship between Big Banks and communities of color uneasy. Village Financial Cooperative provides an alternative and helps reclaim economic power within the Black Community and trust in the (African) American dollar.
what is this black-led financial cooperative
Through collaboration and action the road to solidifying the first Black-led state-chartered credit union to be approved in the last 15 years, Village Financial Cooperative Credit Union is a reality. A significant difference between Big Banking and Village Trust Financial is that VTFC is a nonprofit organization that operates following the co-op model designed to serve its members.
Village Financial Cooperative is a credit union that provides free check cashing and start up capital for Black Cooperatives. Members of Village Trust have ownership in the credit union and have a vote in operations and services.
Big Banks on the other hand are for profit financial institutions that practice penalization and punishment for profit (all of those extra hidden fees you end up paying for everything bank related) and in turn that money goes into the pockets of CEOs and shareholders.
membership and getting involved
This mission-driven financial cooperative is located on the Northside (Minneapolis) located at 227 Colfax Ave N Suite 230 currently serving the community. Membership and pledges are still being accepted by those that that live, work, attend school and/or worship in Hennepin and Ramsey County.
Village Financials membership goal is 5,000, and you have the opportunity to help them meet that goal. Not only do you have the chance to show your support right VTFC has opportunities for the community to get involved by pledging, sponsoring, volunteering or taking advantage of the interning opportunities. You can expect to attend the grand affair and opening during Juneteenth. Pledging today won’t cost you a thing except bit of your time. Get involved (or pledge) today by visiting https://villagefinancial.org.
Don’t just be woke, do the work.