One United Bank officials launched their “Take a Knee” campaign with the unveiling of “Last Man Standing”, work by internationally acclaimed artist Addonis Parker. The Take A Knee Campaign is a nod to the national #TakeAKnee movement started by Colin Kaepernick and followed by over 180 football players including Eric Reid and Kenny Stills in which they refused to stand during the national anthem and instead took a knee in silent protest of police shootings of unarmed Black people and the need for criminal justice reform. One United’s campaign, said its officials, is to “take the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack Movement to the next level.”
The Bank will donate to the American Civil Liberties Union and to BMe Community, in honor of Leon Ford, a survivor of police brutality, for each new customer that opens a checking account between October 25, 2018 and December 31, 2018. The Bank will also extend an invitation to all OneUnited Bank customers to become a member of the ACLU and donate to BMe Community.
“Throughout history, art has been used to raise awareness about social issues and affect positive change,” said Teri Williams, One United president and COO.
“We are honored to unveil ‘Last Man Standing’ and support the ACLU and BMe Community as we continue to support the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack Movement and advocate for social justice.”
Besides banking, One United officials have also made social activism their business. Shortly before the “Take a Knee” campaign, the long standing black owned bank released the Justice Card, designed by Parker and featuring a young black woman, fist out in solidarity and draped in flags to “celebrate cultures that are the mosaic of America.”
The card was released in June, and at the time, Williams had this to say.
“As the largest Black-owned bank in America, we appreciate the difficult journey of immigrants and recognize their vast economic contributions to our country. Despite what we read in the press, immigrants contribute immensely to America’s success. Many of us are immigrants, children of immigrants or grandchildren of immigrants. We relate to our ancestral countries – such as Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad or Barbados – while also embracing America. We consider ourselves to be Black, African-American and/or Caribbean-Americans. We strongly agree with Martin Luther King Jr. – “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Williams and her company also commissioned a nationwide book giveaway for kids, where they urged youth to create art works and essays about money management. About ten youth won a starter bank account with cash gifted from One United.
With these campaigns and programs, One United officials are hoping to move closer to their mission of creating a more financially healthy African American community in the country.
“We are America’s largest Black-owned bank. We’re working to help develop urban communities across the nation, to raise financial literacy within our communities, and to build Black economic power in America,” they said.
“We are committed to increasing financial literacy within our communities, and to offering affordable financial services for all.”
OneUnited Bank will make a $25,000 minimum contribution to both the ACLU and the BMe organizations. For more information on how to participate in the Take a Knee Campaign visit www.oneunited.com/takeaknee.