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OneUnited Bank launches video series on financial literacy for black communities

OneUnited Bank and the African American Film Critics Association are teaming up for a new social media video campaign aimed at encouraging financial literacy among the black community in America.

OneUnited is the largest black-owned bank in the country and the AAFCA hosts one of the most prominent black film awards events of the year. Together, the two organizations are using social media to combat predatory lending and other financial problems that have plagued the black community for years.

"We are thrilled to launch AAFCA Production Services with a strong partner with similar values," said  Gil Robertson, AAFCA co-founder and president. "Our work with OneUnited Bank will provide a great example of the multi-tiered services we provide for companies looking to craft messages that merge celebrity with subjects and themes that impact the community."   

When talking about racial justice in America, the conversation tends to focus on things like mass incarceration, police brutality and other more visible forms of discrimination.

But an often unseen but incredibly important part of this discussion is economic discrimination, whether it be in the form of predatory lending or redlining, that often disproportionately harms racial minorities in America.

To combat this, it is important for members of America?s black communities to be financially literate in order to avoid the financial practices, whether intentionally discriminatory or not, that have left black communities economically devastated for decades. 

OneUnited Bank, the largest black-owned bank in the country, is partnering with the AAFCA for a new video series, to be launched and promoted on social media, specifically to help black communities better understand their financial capabilities to protect them from predatory and unfair banking processes, and haw to take control of their financial independence.

These videos will be branded with promoted hashtags, #BankBlack and #BuyBlack, to encourage viewers to think ethically about where their money goes and consider contributing to more black-owned businesses to support their community members.

The video series will be hosted on OneUnited?s social media channels as well as on YouTube and the bank?s Web site.

The AAFCA is helping to produce the video series as a part of its larger move towards video production.

The joint effort to raise awareness and promote sales at underserved small businesses is uncommon but not unprecedented in the banking world.

Recently, American Express teamed up with Shaquille O?Neal to promote sales at small businesses in a similar video campaign (see story).

With this video series, OneUnited is serving the dual purpose of raising its own brand awareness and, more importantly, raising awareness in the black community of how members can protect themselves and encourage personal and communal growth in the face of economic adversity.

"At OneUnited Bank, we began with the understanding that traditional ways of teaching financial literacy to under-served communities are not effective and we needed to do something more creative," said Teri Williams, president and chief operating officer of OneUnited Bank. "Our partnership with AAFCA and BMe Community allows us to think outside of the traditional banking box to educate consumers, especially Black millennials, on the importance of being financially literate and using their collective spending power purposefully."