CDFI Technology Dialogue
Our first event, Can Black and Brown Banks Survive in a Digital Economy?, was held June 15, 2021, in commemoration of Juneteenth, from 1-3:30 pm (EDT).
Our regulatory keynotes included:
Cecilia Rouse, Chair, Council of Economic Advisors
Michael Hsu, Acting Comptroller of the Currency
Maxine Waters, Chairwoman, House Financial Services Committee
Mark Warner, Chairman Senate Intelligence Committee
Jelena McWilliams, Chairman, FDIC
Sherrod Brown, Chairman, Senate Banking Committee
Other policy-defining panelists and speakers included:
Manuel P. Alvarez, Commissioner, California Department of Business Oversight, Department of Financial Protection and Innovation
Aurelio Aleman-Bermudez, CEO, First Bancorp/Puerto Rico
Marla Blow, President and CEO, Skoll Foundation
David G. Clunie, Executive Director, Black Economic Alliance
Dominique Harrison, Director, Technology Policy Program, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Aaron Klein, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings
Melissa Koide, CEO and Director, FinRegLab
Noel Andrés Poyo, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Economic Development, Office of Domestic Finance, U.S. Department of the Treasury
John W. Rogers, Jr., Chairman, Co-CEO and CIO, Ariel Investments
Kayla M. Sanders, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Remy
Everett Sands, CEO, Lendistry
Robert Smith, Founder and CEO, Vista Equity Partners
Technology has become an essential tool for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depositary Institution (MDI) operations, and yet CDFIs and MDIs have historically been unable to secure and operate technology tailored to their needs in the digital economy and enabling them to scale. At the same time, a new era of financial technology is emerging powered by firms and companies that have limited experience and exposure to some of the most important institutions central to addressing racial wealth and inequality gaps.
In light of the centrality of CDFIs and MDIs at the heart of bipartisan policy solutions aimed at closing the racial wealth gap, a series of forums and workstreams will be organized, capped off with policy sessions during DC Fintech Week. These first-of-its their kind workstreams will both a) identify the technology needs of CDFIs and MDFIs, especially as pertaining to barriers to scale; and b) catalyze strategic thinking and engagement of financial technology companies in efforts to upgrade critical technology infrastructures in minority communities.
Among our areas of interest included:
This was be the first project of its kind bringing together CDFIs and MDIs with financial technology firms, civil rights organizations, regulators and policymakers.
The gatherings were central to conversations on racial empowerment and racial equity—and informing the capital’s conversation on financial technology more generally.