top of page

Association for Black Economic Power Creates New Alliances with Leading Community-Based Organization

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

April 27, 2021 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Debra Hurston, Executive Director at the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP) announced today new support for the launch of the Village Financial Cooperative from two leading organizations in the credit union sector. “We remain committed to the launch of the Village Financial Cooperative, and will be working in close coordination with both the Minnesota Credit Union Network, and the African-American Credit Union Coalition,” said Ms. Hurston.

Mr. Mark Cummins, President & CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network said, “We’re seeking to provide the critical mentorship and support needed for the launch of the Village Financial Cooperative. Our member credit unions and the staff at the Minnesota Credit Union Network are truly excited to bring the cooperative principles of the credit union movement to this worthy project.”

“We fully understand and support the vision of ABEP for creating a Black-led financial institution at this critical moment in time, and in one of the most underserved communities in the country. Our hearts and resources are pledged to help to catalyze the launch of the Village Financial Cooperative in any way that we can,” said Renée Sattiewhite, President & CEO of the African-American Credit Union Coalition.

“In addition to the new alliances we are forging within the credit union sector, our objective is to continue to nurture a broad base of support for the Village Financial Cooperative, including consumers, small businesses, chambers of commerce, faith-based organizations, foundations, financial institutions, and local and state government. Our target launch timeline is during the first half of 2022, and will be based upon several pending regulatory approvals,” said Ms. Hurston, Executive Director at ABEP.

Ms. Debra Hurston was appointed to lead ABEP in December 2020, following a transition in the leadership of the organization. Past and current sponsors of ABEP and the Village Financial Cooperative include: Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of MN, McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis Foundation, Pohlad Foundation, the Northside Funders Group, and a variety of individual and corporate donors.

The ABEP Board of Directors include:

  • Valerie Geaither, Chair is Professor Emerita of Community and Family Studies at Metropolitan State University.

  • Ernest Draper, Treasurer is a Certified Financial Planner providing financial advice to individuals, families and business owners.

  • Gracie George, Secretary is a Risk Management Professional at U.S. Bank.

  • Shane Hughley, Director is an executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis with responsibility for overseeing the Ninth Districts Currency Payment Systems operations.

ABOUT ABEP: The Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP) is a nonprofit organization created to establish a Black-led financial institution to address systemic financial challenges impacting Minneapolis residents, particularly people of color. This vision was birthed from North Minneapolis community members who strongly believe that institutional economic power is the critical ingredient to addressing the inequities blacks experience in Minnesota. Additionally, as a community development organization, ABEP seeks to impact the underserving communities it serves from the standpoint of affordable housing, workforce development, and small business acceleration opportunities.

Learn more at:

ABOUT MnCUN: The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) is the state trade association for Minnesota’s credit unions. The Network, working in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), works to ensure the success, growth and vitality of our member credit unions by creating a positive public environment through leadership, political advocacy, education, awareness and regulatory assistance. Overall, more than 1.9 million Minnesota consumers are member-owners of the state’s credit unions. As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions, on average, offer higher savings rates, lower loan rates and have lower and fewer fees, compared with other financial institutions.

Learn more at:

ABOUT AACUC: Founded in 1999, the African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) has grown and is ever changing to meet the needs of the dynamic credit union community which it serves. It has become an all-encompassing organization for individuals (professional and volunteers) in Credit Unions, Insurance, Regulators, Consultants and other entities in the credit union industry. AACUC promotes personal and professional growth of its members as well as collectively articulating concerns and advocating resources to improve economic development of surrounding communities that are often under-served by majority financial institutions. In 2020, AACUC launched the Commitment to Change: Credit Unions United Against Racism initiative.

Learn more at:

53 views0 comments


bottom of page