On March 3, the Secretary of the Treasury will host the Freedman’s Bank Forum to commemorate the 155th anniversary of the chartering of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, commonly referred to as the Freedman’s Bank, created to provide economic opportunity for newly emancipated Americans.
I will participate in the opening plenary entitled, The Legacy of Freedman’s Bank in the Pursuit of Building Wealth,with Kenneth Kelly, Chairman and CEO, First Independence Bank and Chairman, National Bankers Association; and Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO, Chase Consumer Banking. The panel will provide context for the historical significance of the Freedman’s Bank and the promising future of private-sector efforts to support wealth building for all.
I am pleased to join this important conversation on economic opportunity and the empowerment of our American communities. The mission of Operation HOPE connects the legacy of the Freedman’s Bank established by President Abraham Lincoln and the second part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s integration dream—it is our work on the ground through our nationwide HOPE Insidenetwork every day to ensure silver rights, for all.
On January 7, 2016, at my urging, then Treasury Secretary Jack Lew publicly renamed the Treasury Annex Building, The Freedman’s Bank Building, in honor of the site where the Freedman’s Savings Bank once stood – I became the only private American citizen to inspire the renaming of a building on the White House campus.
The Forum will bring together leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for a series of panel discussions on the historical significance of the Freedman’s Bank, the importance of Minority Depository Institutions, and the role that private institutions play in supporting economic growth that benefits all Americans.
I commend Secretary Mnuchin for his leadership in standing up the Freedman’s Bank Forum, and honoring this unheralded legacy of industrious former slaves who literally gave their all for this country’s uplift. Now we seek to honor theirs.
You can access the Freedman’s Bank Forum livestream beginning at 8:00 a.m. EST.
Learn more about the Freedman’s Bank: freedmansbank.org