WASHINGTON, September 18, 2013 – Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Chairman and U. S. Congressman Chaka Fattah kicked off the week long activities of the 43rd Annual Legislative Conference with the announcement of a $5 million investment in African American owned banks as part of a broader effort to increase the availability of loans for businesses and individuals in African-American communities.
“The first act of the conference symbolizes the new direction that the Foundation is moving in that sets the example we are moving away from rhetoric into investing money”, said Philadelphia Congressman Fattah.
CBCF selected banks in four regions of the country-the North, South, East and Midwest-in an effort to achieve geographic balance in an initiative that could prove crucial in lifting the economic fortunes of black communities. In all, five banks will receive $1 million each: the Industrial Bank in Washington, DC; Liberty Bank & Trust Company in New Orleans, Louisiana; Mechanics & Farmers Bank in Durham, North Carolina; Seaway Bank & Trust Company in Chicago, IL; and, City National Bank of New Jersey in Newark, New Jersey.
One of the local banks that benefited from the CBC Foundation investment was Industrial Bank, which was represented by bank President B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr.
“As Chairman of the 86-year-old National Bankers Association and CEO of the 79-year-old Industrial Bank, I applaud the actions of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to place $5 million in deposits in African-American banks,” said B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr. “These deposits provide the liquidity for Industrial Bank and others to make loans in the hardest-hit communities across the nation, continuing our legacy today of doing well by doing good.”
When asked to articulate the impact of the $1 million Mr. Mitchell would only state that Industrial Bank’s loan would go to ‘under-served communities’.
“A million dollars may not sound like a lot of money, but my father told me when I was a 16 year old student, that if you take care of the pennies, the dollars will come”, said second generation banker Mitchell whose father started the bank on U Street 86 years ago.
In addition to the economic investment kickoff message, the conference will feature President Obama as the Keynote speaker at the annual Phoenix Awards Dinner on Saturday night.
“President Obama’s decision to keynote the dinner underscores the importance of our mission to expand opportunities in health, education, and economic recovery for black people around the world,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the CBC Foundation.
According to the Foundation, the annual political conference brings more than $30 million annually in hospitality revenue to the District as the conference and related events are projected to attract nearly 10,000 people who will fill more than 3,000 rooms during the four nights of the 43rd Annual Conference.