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Historic Accomplishments

  • On March 4, 2008, it was announced in Washington, DC that credit unions from California to Maine and from Washington to Florida have donated $1.2 million to Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. The African American Credit Union Coalition and Board Member Hubert Hoosman spearheaded the national fundraising effort within the credit union movement. 








  • The African-American Credit Union exhibit was unveiled at America’s Credit Union Museum on Manchester, New Hampshire, October 16, 2008.

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  • Pete Crear becomes the 1st African-American President and Chief Executive Officer of the World Council of Credit Unions in May of 2005.

  • October 2005 - When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the AACUC was one of the early credit union organizations to respond with an assessment team of volunteers to assist the credit unions.

  • November 15, 2005 - Rodney E. Hood was appointed by President George W. Bush to a seat on the board of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).  November 30, 2005, the NCUA Board elected Mr. Hood to serve as the Vice Chairman of the Board.



  • Pete Crear Fund
    In 2004 the African-American Credit Union Coalition and the National Credit Union Foundation formed an alliance to fund AACUC's various outreach programs. The Pete Crear Community Investment Fund, named for World Council of Credit Unionís President/CEO, Pete Crear, will be used to help fund AACUC's financial literacy/education and minority internship programs and small credit union development. The Pete Crear Fund is a donor-designated fund within the NCUF's Community Investment Fund (CIF). The way it works is half of the NCUF's return on a credit union's earmarked Pete Crear Fund will be distributed, pro rata, back to the league and/or state credit union foundation in the state of investment origin. Investment options include a 5-year fixed-rate CD, 3-year fixed-rate CD or a 90-day account. The distribution will be a 50/50 split between the investing credit union and NCUF with a 2% cap to NCUF. NCUF's portion is then split between AACUC and pro rata to the league or foundation in the state of investment origin credit unions.


  • Pete Crear Scholarship
    In August 2004, the AACUC Board granted the first Pete Crear scholarships to three deserving college students. The AACUC board approved granting three $2,000 scholarships annually during its October 2003 board meeting. The purpose of the scholarship is to award qualifying individuals financial assistance to pursue higher education. 

    The scholarship was named after credit union pioneer, Mr. Pete Crear, President/CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions. Pete has served with distinction and has dedicated his professional career to the service of credit unions both in America and abroad since 1965. He was the first African American to serve in various high-level positions in the credit union movement.


  • SWAMI Scholarship
    AACUC has partnered with the World Council of Credit Unions and the Strathmore University which has developed a comprehensive training program for senior management staff, aspiring managers and board members. SWAMI is designed to give SACCO board members and management the inside track in achieving career success. 

    In an effort to continue support to the country of South Africa, the AACUC Board adopted this partnership four years ago. So far, AACUC has paved the way for twelve students to continue their education. 

    Both board members and management students will come together and take a series of courses, which prepare them to handle the challenges SACCOs face in today’s changing environments. The management students will come in on Monday to begin their course of study, then the board member students will join them later in the week. In some cases, they will be learning together in a joint classroom setting.


  • CUES CEO Scholarship
    The African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) and The Credit Union Executives Society (CUES) offer a scholarship to an AACUC member to attend the following renowned CEO Institute Programs:

CEO Institute I

  • Strategic Planning University of Pennsylvania

  • The Wharton School

CEO Institute II

  • Organizational Effectiveness

  • Cornell University

  • Johnson Graduate School of Management

CEO Institute III

  • Strategic Leadership Development

  • University of Virginia

  • Darden Graduate School of Business Administration

The scholarship pays the full tuition for all three segments of the CEO Institute, including costs of rooming and most meals. The curriculum and instructional materials for the CEO Institute have been developed through extensive, ongoing research by the host schools of the CUES' University Consortium. One week a year, students will participate in an advanced curriculum that is guaranteed to provide you with the most compelling educational experiences available today. The curriculum and instructional materials for the CEO Institute have been developed through extensive, ongoing research by the host schools of the CUES' University Consortium. Through relevant case studies, self-assessment exercises, team-building experiences, classroom discussions, world-class faculty, and peer interaction, the CEO Institute will provide you with the intensive graduate-level coursework needed to advance your credit union career.


  • AACUC Receives 501c3
    In 2002, the board of AACUC decided there was a need to have a 501©3 to enhance fundraising efforts. The designation was received from the IRS in May 2003. Under the leadership of Helen Godfrey-Smith, AACUC applied for a 501©3 non-profit designation. After months and months of sending information to the IRS and proving the work and support AACUC delivers, the 501©3 was granting to AACUC in 2003.

  • August 2003, the 1st AACUC Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Pete Crear.

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  • In 2002, AACUC Chairwoman, Helen Godfrey Smith received a recognition award from e World
    Council of Credit Unions, “recognizing the AACUC and the ADF for its contributions fostering the  
    growth of credits in South Africa.”



  • In August 2002, AACUC presented Maudelle Shirek with the Lifetime Achievement Award.



  • Littleton P. Mitchell, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, was named Delaware Outstanding Credit Union volunteer for his tenure as a credit union president and volunteer for 39 years. He led Delaware state branches of the NAACP as President for over 30 years and was directly involved in defeating cases of discrimination and segregation affecting thousands of citizens.







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  • The AACUC Internship program was developed to promote awareness and opportunities for African-American and African students attending colleges and universities of the benefits of working in a credit union environment. Our goals include expanding the interest and increasing the numbers of minorities in the credit union movement; increasing outreach of the credit union movement in African countries and in the United States through credit union mentoring and providing scholarship programs and educational opportunities to credit union professionals and volunteers and advancement. Most importantly, we want to enhance internship and scholarship programs for African-American and African descent college students pursuing financial services careers and to introduce them to, and encourage them to seek, employment within the credit union movement.

  • In November 2001, Gary Officer was named National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) Executive
    Director. Under his leadership, NCUF received $1.4 million from the U. S. Treasury for the “First
    Accounts” program. Between October 2002 and May of 2004, the Community Investment Fund
    increased from $100-million to $350-million.


  • President Clinton names Yonda Townsend Wheat as Chair of the National Credit Union Association.

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  • The Louisiana Credit Union League became involved in 1999 and adopted South Africa as their official global credit union movement. The AACUC lobbied USAID for funds for several years, finally getting a 2.5 million earmark in 2001-2002. AACUC worked closely with WOCCU and the National Credit Union Foundation for about 18-months (1999-2001).


  • In 1998, the African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) was chartered to increase the global credit union movement’s strength by adding the focused perspective and energy of credit union volunteers and professionals of African-American and African descent. Michael Hale was the first elected chairman.

  • In August 1998, while visiting South Africa, Pete Crear, Michael Hale, Richard Turnley, Bob King, and Helen Godfrey-Smith committed to including South Africa credit unions as a part of the “AACUC” priority.  African Development Fund (ADF) was formed in 1998 as the fundraising “arm” of AACUC to assist the credit union movement in South Africa. All U.S. funding had stopped. In 1999, ADF raised $70,000 (R490,000 African currency) and kept the league operating. The goals and objectives of ADF are:

    • To assist low-income producers in South Africa communities to increase their income and wealth through improved access to financial services

    • To build long-term, sustainable community-based institutions which support this individual economic growth

    • To build South Africa civil society through increased popular democratic participation in credit unions


  • Yolanda Townsend Wheat, of Missouri, to be a Member of the National Credit Union Administration Board for the term of six years expiring August 2, 2001, vice Robert H. Swan, term expired, to which position she was appointed during the last recess of the Senate.


  • Pete Crear was appointed acting President of CUNA in December of 1995 and served until July 1996. This appointment made him President of CUNA Service Group and Chairman of the Board of CUNA Mortgage.

  • Sheila Montgomery, Helen Godfrey Smith, Shirley Jenkins, Leroy Nesbit, Pete Crear, Gene Johnson, and others began to meet each year at the Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. The group recognized the need for a more organized networking opportunity and founded the AACUC.


  • The Minority Support Center was organized in Durham, North Carolina. The Support Center is the nation’s only statewide intermediary devoted to community development credit unions (CDCUs), offering technical assistance, training, and financial assistance to a growing industry. Access to intermediary services has proven to be a catalyst for North Carolina’s CDCUs, which provide fair and affordable small business, mortgage, rehab and personal loans to stimulate economic development in underserved communities. The Support Center’s affiliated credit unions serve 33,000 across North Carolina.


  • Pete Crear was the first African American to be named a Senior Vice President of CUNA.


  • Pete Crear becomes the first African American to be named President/CEO of the State League in Connecticut. He later was named President/CEO of the Indiana League.


  • William “Bill” Porter became the top executive of Municipal Credit union in New York. He was the 1st African American CEO to build and run a $billion plus credit union. Under his tenure, MCU grew from one branch and $97 million in assets to more than 310,000 members, a branch network that crosses every borough of New York and into several counties and more than $1.3 billion in assets.




  • The first three-member NCUA Board was appointed. The first NCUA Board consists of former NCUA Administrator and newly appointed Chairman Lawrence Connell (1979-1981), Dr. Harold A. Black (1979-1981), and Vice Chairman P.A. Mack, Jr (1979-1987).

  • Pete Crear began his career in the credit union movement at the Michigan Credit Union league. He was later promoted to Vice President of the information and technical services. He organized 23 credit unions during his career.


  • Aston A. “Paddy” Bailey, was the first “man of color” to be named as the Executive Director of the World Extension Division, known today as the World Council of Credit Unions. He worked in more than 100 countries and was honored with induction into the Cooperative Hall of fame in 1997.  Aston A. “Paddy” Bailey was also credited for bringing the credit union concept to the continent of Africa.

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  • John “Ernest” Johnson started his extensive career in the credit union movement with the chartering of Delta Valley Community FCU in Tallulah, Louisiana. He did organizing work and technical assistance in 17 states and in South Africa.



  • Annie Vamper, one of the first African-American employees of the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions (NCUA today) started her credit union career with the College City Elks Lodge FCU. During the 1960s, she organized, chartered and trained staff of 12 neighborhood credit unions. She worked in credit union management in the 1970s and then returned to work with NCUA until 1983 as 2nd in command of the Community Development Credit Union division. Her career in credit union’s spanned over 30 years.



  • Wheat Street Church Federal Credit Union (WSCFCU) was founded in 1956 under the administration of the late Rev. DR. William Holmes Borders, Sr. WSCFCU is one of the Nation’s oldest Church Credit Unions.

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  • Otto G. Rutherford was the president of the Oregon NAACP and his wife, Verdell Burdine Rutherford was the secretary. They worked tirelessly to gain fairness for African-Americans in all areas. Their home was the NAACP’s office, and in 1955, it became the office for the NAACP Federal Credit Union, which they helped to found.



  • Mound Bayou FCU was the first credit union chartered to serve an “all black” town in the U. S. (Mound Bayou, Mississippi). Mound Bayou was founded in 1887 by ex-slaves Isaiah Montgomery and Benjamin T. Green.



  • 27 states and the District of Columbia had credit unions which were chartered, owned and operated by and for African Americans.

  • Total loans made by African-American credit unions totaled approximately $3,000,000.00 since their inception. Losses were very low at .07%.


  • There were 136 African-American credit unions in the U.S. of which 86 were in the south. Of the 86 southern credit unions, 33 of those were in North Carolina. The earliest African American Credit Unions which operated under community charters were the Wayne County FCU in Jessup, Georgia and The Light of Tyrrell Credit Union in Tyrrell County, NC.

  • There were 36 “education based” African-American credit unions in the U.S.

  • The total assets estimated in African American credit unions totaled $500,000.00 and the average loss ratio was estimated to be .075% or 7.5 cents of each $100.00 loaned.

  • Records showed 13 African-American church credit unions.


  • The first Credit Union Youth program was held in Tyrell County, North Carolina at the Light of Tyrrell Credit Union.


  • Simpson P. Dean organized The Light of Tyrrell Credit Union of Tyrrell County, NC, which was chartered to serve the African American of the County. The credit union financed business and building projects, a cooperative sawmill and the construction and remodeling of homes. The union also launched the Light of Tyrrell store and had as many as 300 members.  As a result of the union’s financial projects, there were 72 black-owned farms in the county and some blacks has as much as $2,500 in their savings accounts.


  • The first African-American “church credit union” was the Wesley Chapel FCU of Houston, TX organized on April 23, 1936. The second was chartered on July 31, 1936, at Bethel AME in Detroit, MI.


  • The first paid employee of CUNA Mutual and the first African American employed by CUNA Mutual was Harvey Williams, hired initially as the building maintenance man at Raiffeisen House. He retired from CUNA Mutual in 1965 with 30 years of service. Roy Bergengren called him “a loyal employee and friend.”

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  • African American employees of the Parker House Hotel of Boston organized the 1st credit union to serve the hotel industry. The key organizers of the credit union were William H. Love and Perry Van Derzee. William Love also organized the Local #34 Federal Credit Union and the Sergeant Lemon Credit Union which served the Massachusetts National Guard.



  • There were four African-American credit unions in North Carolina. Three (3) years later, these credit unions had total assets of over $10,000.00.


  • Thomas B. Patterson, a county agent, stimulated the leaders in Rowan County to organize the first Credit Union for African Americans in the United States.

    Black citizens had set up another eight credit unions by 1920. During the 1940s, the number of black credit unions rose to fifty-five, giving North Carolina nearly as many as all other states combined. The Southern Workman, a journal published by the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Virginia, was one of the first to report on black credit unions in North Carolina.



  • Municipal Credit Union of New York, chartered in 1916 with 19 members and $570.00 in assets, demonstrated inclusiveness by providing loans to all of its members at a discount rate and underwriting a life insurance which was called the “widower’s benefit” up to $400.00 per member.



  • The credit union movement was officially ushered in by the Passage of the Massachusetts Credit Union Law

  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as a bi-racial endeavor to advance justice for African Americans by a group including W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary White Ovington and Moorfield Storey.

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  • The first credit union in the U.S. was founded in 1908 in Manchester, NH.  The inspiration of Monsignor Pierre Hevey, the pastor of Sainte-Marie Parish.  Monsignor Hevey sought to improve the economic stability and independence of the French-speaking mill workers by giving them a safe and welcoming place to save and borrow money.  Initially open just evenings and holidays, the credit union grew to become one of the state's most stable financial institutions.

    Groups were poised and ready to employ this cooperative model as a means to bring “access to reasonable financial services” to African-American communities. Some of the earliest and most successful efforts were in the State of North Carolina. North Carolina was the first State south of the Mason-Dixon Line to pass a credit union statute.



  • World Council of Credit Unions was officially incorporated on January 1, 1971, the result of a vote of confidence among national credit union associations throughout the world.



  • The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) became an independent federal agency and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund was formed to insure members’ deposits.



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  • The Federation of Southern Cooperatives came out of the Civil Rights Movement. It was organized as a means for rural communities and African American farmers to develop and survive.

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