Fed up with policing injustice after the murder of Philando Castile, which is linked to economic injustice in North Minneapolis — a banking desert riddled with payday lenders that can charge 400 percent on a small loan — the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP) began the years-long process of launching a credit union in 2016. Credit unions are member-owned nonprofit financial cooperations for banking.
After early management missteps, Debra Hurston was tapped by the new ABEP board to start from scratch. Regulators require her to re-establish community pledges and donations, which had previously included 2,000 surveys from community members indicating their desire for a credit union. She currently has $3.7 million in corporate deposits and $1 million in community pledges, which she would like to more than double.
Although her staffing now consists of one part-time assistant, she has the support of community, state, and federal experts, starting with a “rock star” from the national African American Credit Union Coalition.