CU 2.0 Podcast Episode 159 Kelli Ellsworth Etchison LAFCU and Gary Lee MDT CUSO on DEI DEI 4 2021

cu 2.0 podcast

Kelli Ellsworth Etchison,  chief marketing officer and chief diversity officer at the $950 million, Lansing, Mich.-based LAFCU and a member of Michigan’s Black Leadership Advisory Council, and Gary Lee is Chief Client Office at MDT, Member Driven Technology, a tech focused CUSO, are in this podcast to tell why DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion – matter to credit unions.

Here’s the big question Lee addresses: how does MDT explain to its owners, customers and prospects that it – a CUSO that specializes in delivering cloud based core processing – puts a large emphasis on DEI?  What business is this of a tech focused CUSO?

It’s a central concern, explained Lee in the podcast and he added that MDT has even signed new customers who said their preference is to do business with companies that share their concerns about social justice and equality issues.

As for Etchison, she puts a DEI concern on the table that we have not heard before in over a half dozen DEI focused podcasts.  Her idea is that we have to stop looking at DEI simply as a concern inside the four walls of the credit union and instead look at it in a bigger community orientation.  Her point: until there is real DEI in the community, a credit union’s DEI focus can produce only so much good.

That is a huge idea and a huge challenge. Many credit unions are doing very well in regard to DEI inside walls – but how about in the community?

The mammoth idea here is that systemic racism results in, for instance, low credit scores for many – and so they become prey for payday lenders rather than good credit union members.

Help more people in your community achieve the successes they deserve and the result will be a stronger. more successful credit union.

How large is that idea?

You might sat the subtitle for this podcast is do good for your credit union or CUSO by doing good for the community.

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