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NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper Closing Remarks at the 2021 DEI Summit

November 2021
NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper Closing Remarks at the 2021 DEI Summit
Todd M. Harper

NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper

As Prepared for Delivery on November 4, 2021

Thank you, everyone, for your energy and engagement during the NCUA’s 2021 DEI Summit.

We’ve had an extraordinary gathering these last three days. And, I hope you found the conference informative and inspiring. I certainly have been heartened by the many insights gleaned from the summit’s panel discussions and speeches, and I have enjoyed the honest and thoughtful conversations that have taken place.

On that note, I would like to thank my fellow Board members and all of the presenters taking part in this conference for their inspiring speeches, thoughtful insights, and engaging presentations. I also want to extend my deepest thanks to the entire team at the NCUA for all of their diligent efforts in making the 2021 DEI Summit a reality. Thank you again for a job well done!

With the summit coming to a close, it is now up to all of us to take what we have learned during these last three days and move from intention to action. At the start of this conference, I spoke about the need to get outside of your swim lane if we are going to be successful at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the credit union system. So, I now ask: What are you going to do differently? What are you going to change to have an impact? And, how are you going to get out of your swim lane?

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are necessary for the success of the credit union system and are vital to strategy, sustainable growth, innovation, talent acquisition, and employee retention in the industry. The credit union industry can advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging not by talking about them as concepts or principles, but by acting on them internally within your organizations, externally with your members, and even more broadly, within the promise of the broader credit union movement.

An excellent place for your credit union to begin its investment in diversity, equity and inclusion is the NCUA’s diversity self-assessment available at Your credit union can use this online tool to create a baseline for action, such as making the commitment to develop new products and services aimed at addressing the needs of communities of color, increasing investment in underserved areas, and improving community marketing and outreach.

The diversity self-assessment is an excellent first step on the path from intention to action, and I encourage your credit unions to use the tool and submit your results to us by January 15.

Greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the credit union system and the broader financial services sector will not happen overnight or by chance. It will a take concerted effort by all of us, and one that will require us to move beyond our own swim lanes and comfort zones. I believe you are up to that challenge.

These efforts will bring about much-needed change and ensure that the cooperative nature of the credit union system lives up to its mission of meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers, including — and especially — those of modest means and communities of color.

I look forward to continuing to work with all of you on this noble endeavor. And, I look forward to hearing about your successes at the 2022 DEI Summit. Stay tuned for more details about next year’s gathering.

Thank you again for joining us for the NCUA’s 2021 DEI Summit. Be safe. Be well. Be kind. Create change and belonging!

Thank you!

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