On Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020, US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and I sat down to discuss the Freedman’s Bank legacy, their recent Freedman’s Bank Forum which took place this week at the US Treasury Department Department’s historic Cash Room in Washington, DC.
Watch the video now on YouTube.
Immediately following the Civil War in America, and 60 days following what history now refers to the lacy of 40 Acres and a Mule, President Abraham Lincoln established the Freedman’s Bank on March 3, 1865 as part of the Freedman’s Bureau legislation. The United States Congress and Lincoln recognized the need to aid freed African Americans in their transition to freedom, giving them a safe and secure domicile for savings, a vehicle for access to capital, and to teach them how money works, or financial literacy. The famed abolitionist and civil rights leader (and successful businessman) Frederick Douglass stepped in to run the bank after President Lincoln’s assassination. His involvement was also recognized this week.
In honoring the legacy of the Freedman’s Bank, Secretary Mnuchin leaned in personally. He’s not just passing by the important issues, he is also creating policy change. Thank you, Secretary Mnuchin, for caring about financial literacy, affordable housing, getting capital in areas that are really needed, CRA reform and opportunity zones.
It’s always a pleasure hearing the hearts and seeing the action of world leaders who take care of “the least of these” — God’s children.
Let us mark March 3rd, every year, to continue to serve as a reminder that financial inclusion, for all, starts with ‘morals and money.’ The US Treasury Department has agreed to recognize March 3rd every year as the anniversary of and for the Freedman’s Bureau and the Freedman’s Bank. Furthermore, we are thank to Secretary Mnuchin and Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich for recognizing Operation HOPE’s leadership inspiring the historic name change from the US Treasury Annex Building, to the Freedman’s Bank Building in 2016. The now hoped for annual Freedman’s Bank Forum at US Treasury now builds on this.
Operation HOPE and our growing network of HOPE Inside locations is our work to continue the unfinished legacy and work of the Freedman’s Bank itself.
This is Silver Rights for a new Generation. This is our attempt to right history, and to now help to make things right.