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On Feb. 6, my family celebrated my beautiful granddaughter by hosting a birthday party. She was born in the month of February, which also is Black History Month. Please stay with me as I attempt to create a powerful teachable moment regarding a way forward by reflecting upon a 1-year-old’s birthday party and the Waterloo African-American community regarding our local banking sector.

What was special about this 1-year-old African-American birthday celebration was a deliberate focus on her future; family and friends were given her youth savings membership account number as a way to gift/invest, an account that had been started at birth. Note there was no designer sneakers for this 1-year-old nor were there fancy outfits she will outgrow the next day.

One has only to Google the topic on blacks and their relationship with the banking sector in this country and the disturbing reports that reflect a lack of substantive engagement with the African-American community nationally. The two terms used to describe the African-American community are under- banking and lack of banking engagement, which is troubling.

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