A nonprofit Black organization has taken the #BankBlack movement further than it has gone before. BMe Community, a national group of Black men who work to strengthen their neighborhoods, put $1 million into OneUnited, the country’s largest Black-owned bank.
“It’s not just a deposit,” BMe’s CEO Trabian Shorters told The Root. “We recognize that our missions perfectly complement each other, and we’re going to keep working together to figure out ways to bring more resources to the Black community.”
“When you try to get folks positively engaged in their communities and you think about building up the assets of the community, then it only makes sense that groups that say they care about the Black community also bank Black,” Shorters said of the partnership with OneUnited.
The exchange makes BMe the bank’s preferred nonprofit. OneUnited is the organization’s preferred bank. “It occurred to me that if we want other folks to invest in our communities, then we should lead by example,” Shorters added.
In a Facebook post on Aug. 3, OneUnited revealed customers moved $10 million into the bank in less than one month. The financial institution encouraged their clients to take its #BankBlack Challenge and encouraged family and friends to join in, too.
“This #BankBlack movement is about more than us moving our money,” OneUnited president and chief operating officer Teri Williams told The Root. “It is about us moving our minds or just sort of opening up our minds to appreciating the power of our $1.2 trillion in spending power.” Williams said #BankBlack will encourage Black people to connect with each other and use their money “in a more purposeful way.”
According to her, Black consumers only spend 2 percent of that on African-American businesses. “We’re building wealth for other people, and this whole movement to bank Black, buy Black, is really to get us to start recognizing that we can build wealth in our community with our own dollars.”