Dreams becoming reality. This episode spotlights champions leading the way forward towards an inclusive financial ecosystem for the Black community.
In the first segment, Jason Henrichs connects with Kenya McKnight-Ahad, the CEO and Founder of Black Women’s Wealth Alliance, BWWA. BWWA resulted from combining Kenya’s background in economic development with her desire to engage with Black women about how to empower themselves financially. Kenya’s focus on improving the lives of others by illuminating and encouraging the creation of generational wealth, as well as her passion for entrepreneurism and community building, has created health & wellness opportunities for Black women, providing wealth education, business support services, small grant program, career services, and a building, ZaRah where Black women can flourish. Kenya worked with Mary Stoick, SVP Director of Tax Credit Lending, Sunrise Banks to make ZaRah happen. Sunrise Banks is truly more than just a bank, it helps in fulfilling dreams. BWWA is well on its way with its new incubator space and furthering of Black community building.
Then meet Damon Jenkins, SVP and Regional Market President, Twin Cities for First Independence Bank and Bryan Toft, CRO, Sunrise Banks. First Independence Bank’s mission is to deliver financial services with an affinity for under-served and minority communities, and Sunrise Banks is focused on creating financial empowerment for all as a socially-responsible community bank. Together they discuss how banks have fallen short of true inclusivity. Banks need to be close to their community and not tone deaf to how their practices affect the people they serve. The trust gap is real and everyone’s experiences are different. Connection is important for trust, banks need to both meet people where they are and do a better job communicating how banking can be beneficial for building wealth. In building cultures of inclusivity, there is the need to understand the issues, problems and how best to solve them, this is important inside the bank and out. Social responsibility and banking on values can create partnerships, opportunities to combine resources and help more people faster, creating systemic change, building futures and equitable outcomes, The future of Black finance is bright.