In 2016, OneUnited Bank, the nation’s largest Black-owned bank and first Black internet bank, spearheaded the national #BankBlack Challenge. The ongoing campaign seeks to galvanize Black Americans and their allies to move their accounts to Black-owned financial institutions.
“The movement’s leaders were saying to divest from larger banks because they’re less likely to support people like us,” Dallas-based banking professional Stephone Coward II, 36, says. “So, my cofounders and I came together to research ways to support and uplift Black-owned banks and credit unions.”
Combining his industry expertise with a deep understanding of and connection to his African American heritage and community, Coward launched BankBlackUSA. He partnered with Atlanta entrepreneur, Robert Herring III, 38; Yale lecturer and entrepreneur, Justin Moore, 40, in New York City; and several others in Detroit to start the initiative in 2016.