In a lengthy interview for Essence, Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence and Hope Credit Union CEO Bill Bynum spoke about his partnership with Netflix to highlight banking discrimination in a 3-part limited series called Banking On Us.
"You see billboards, radio and television prominently that have Black and Brown faces on it, but when they go into those places, they’ll find that their services don’t match up with the advertising. In Mississippi, Black households that make $150,000 are more likely to get turned down for a mortgage than a white household. That makes $40,000, which underscores there’s systemic discrimination in the traditional banking system. We have a bit of a hill to climb there. That’s why the opportunity with Netflix was so important for us."
Speaking about ways in which Hope Credit Union is helping Black business owners and marginalized communities move closer to financial freedom, Bynum said, "I think if any successful entrepreneur is honest, they would acknowledge they did not get where they are by themselves. We try to play the role of the private banker to help connect them with opportunities. Whether that’s help with managing large contracts or navigating challenging financial situations they’ve never faced before, we hold their hand and help them through. It takes more time and is more labor and cost intensive, but that’s what it takes to close the financial opportunity gap in communities of color."