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We Stand Against Racism
At Cooperative Federal we stand for equality, community, and social justice. We were founded by a generation of activists who learned organizing skills through participation in the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, the student and anti-war movements, and other social justice movements of the sixties, seventies, and eighties. We continue to fight for justice today against the blatant as well as implicit racism that infects our society in a deep and deadly nationwide epidemic.
Racism is a public crisis and we need to move with urgency and systemic community-wide measures to stop it. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the many before them at the hands of a brutal, violent, and militarized police system are a representation of the truth we are living in. We will not remain silent against the continued injustice and oppression of our black and brown brothers and sisters. We stand with you. We are here for you.
Since our founding we have stood for a world free from racial oppression by serving the financial needs of those in the broad movement for social justice. We are here to serve communities that are unserved or underserved by for-profit financial institutions and in doing so to build an economy in opposition to the structures of injustice. Our motto, “We Build The Road As We Travel” captures the belief of credit union activists that by working together we can rebuild a new and more just world while we live within the current conditions.
We build the road as we travel also insinuates that we are perpetually learning as individuals and as a community. We can always be doing better, striving for more, and asking ourselves if our actions come from a place of self-comfortability and convenience versus inclusivity for those who have been othered by American culture and society. We recognize that individuals who hold positions of power and authority need to also reflect on the effects of their language and actions and have organized our leadership and management teams at Cooperative Federal to take part in reading “White Fragility” by Robin Diangelo. This will be just the beginning of a larger effort to self-reflect on how we can learn and grow as an organization.
At this time we ask our members to use whatever power and privilege they have to rise up with us in action, education, reflection, and self-improvement. We ask our black and brown members, our members of color, and our members who have immigrated to this country: What can we do better? How can we be better allies to you and our community? Where have we let you down?
We ask our membership and community to look to the leadership of black led community organizations as it is important to follow the leadership of our community’s black leaders in an organized and strategic way to enable a peaceful and unified uprising. It is time to stand together and do what is right because it is only together that we can build the road as we travel.