On Friday, September 23, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department hosted the Freedman’s Bank Forum to explore ways to build an economy that works for all Americans. The Forum brought together public, private, and nonprofit leaders to discuss strategies to improve jobs, economic opportunity, financial inclusion, and shared prosperity for all communities.
This Forum’s name is a tribute to the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, which was created to provide economic opportunity for newly emancipated African-Americans more than 150 years ago, and which was commemorated by the Treasury Department earlier this year. The Freedman’s Bank Forum aligns with the historical significance of the bank and its original mission – to promote economic integration and financial inclusion. Additionally, the Forum coincides with a series of events throughout the Nation’s Capital that will mark the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Derek Dingle, Senior Vice President and Editor-In-Chief, Black Enterprise Magazine moderated a candid conversation with Jacob J. Lew, Secretary, U.S. Treasury Department. Dingle discussed recent progress and new opportunities for the Obama Administration and private, non-profit, and local government sectors in fostering broad-based economic growth. In addition Dingle asked hard questions about what more can be done on a variety of fronts to address economic disparities.
This event, especially during such a momentous weekend as the unveiling of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I would also be remiss if I didn’t take an opportunity to thank John Hope Bryant of Operation Hope who served as one of the catalyst to get this conference together. I think that this is a prime opportunity to talk about where we stand in terms of financial inclusion and before we delve into what this means for African-American and people of color.
― Derek Dingle
History of the Freedman’s Bank
Video of the Freedman’s Bank Forum