Saturday, #BlackMoneyMattersLA activists collaborated with OneUnited Bank to convey the importance of the black dollar and how to re-direct our purchasing power back to African-American businesses and communities.
Sponsored by OneUnited Bank at its Crenshaw branch, the event brought together black families, advocates, clergy leaders and celebrities to bring attention to the matter as a direct response to the recent shooting deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and many others.
Comedian G-Thang hosted the outside venue, coating the hearts of those impacted by the myriad of tragedies against blacks with some lighthearted banter. The awareness also included a powerhouse performance by the incomparable Miki Howard, who brought the house down with crowd favorites. Meanwhile, countless community members flooded the inside of the bank to open new checking accounts with the branch using their brand new digital software.
In an exclusive interview with President and COO of OneUnited Bank, Teri Williams, she says that “the black dollar circulates within the black community for only six hours,” compared to Asian American communities who “circulate their dollars for 28 days,” Williams declared. “We are sort of the only community that really doesn’t buy or bank with ourselves before money goes to other communities to build their wealth,” Williams continued.
Hip-Hop artist, humanitarian and social activist Killer Mike has served as the catalyst for the #bankblack movement, motivating members nationwide to re-direct their spending power. Saturday’s event also included appearances from Claudia Jordan, V Bozeman, and Nikko Smith, all of who came out in support of the cause, and even took steps to open their own accounts.
As an integral part of the Crenshaw and South Los Angeles communities, OneUnited Bank desires to teach African-Americans the importance of buying and banking black in order to circulate wealth for generations to come. “We spend more than 1.2 trillion dollars per year, that’s more than whole countries,” Williams noted. “The problem is that only 2% of our spending actually occurs within our community. If we could increase that 2% to 10%, we could create 1 million jobs in our communities,” Williams continued.
When asked how OneUnited Bank embraces diversity while positively targeting the African American wealth population, Williams said the bank accepts “all dollars and we lend to all people, so this isn’t really to the exclusion of others, all we’re saying is as a community, the black community, we should bank black”.
Lastly, as both an African American and female owner of OneUnited Bank, Teri Williams encouraged everyone, including young people, to secure a savings account and put money aside every 1-2 weeks. “If you can get it taken out of your paycheck before it goes in your pocket, your more likely to save it,” Williams said.
Community members looking to support the #BlackMoneyMatters cause may go online at www.oneunited.com to open an account or visit their local branch for more information.