The unique thing about the National Diversity Coalition is that it relies on all of its members to lead important meetings with our nation’s key political, policy, and regulatory leaders. Our conversations discussing the sustainability of America’s historically underserved populations echo not only in the history of NDC’s efforts, but in the history of America. NDC, thank you for shaking the tree from the top with me. A dream you dream alone is only a dream, but a dream you dream together is a reality. With every year that passes we get bigger, and we get better. With that I cannot express this enough - it is my honor to further our cause alongside each and every one of you.
The great success of our Town Hall relied on the voices of advocates of the underserved and underbanked populations to bring to light the current issues in our low income and minority communities. It also relied on the leaders of federal agencies to come and listen to those advocating on behalf of the underprivileged. In a world so fierce and ruthless in competition to reach the top of the mountain, you are the folks willing to join hands to bring everyone to the top together.
Furthermore, the voiceless do in fact have a voice in which case their ability to be heard becomes a matter of who is willing to come and listen to them. Our Town Hall keynote speakers and panelists stand at the forefront of federal leadership willing to hear these voices. Secretary of HUD Ben Carson spoke on HUD’s present and future policies as they work to recognize the importance of greater minority participation in key housing issues. Chairman of the FDIC Jelena McWilliams shared a moving personal testimony that is gaining popularity as her journey to the FDIC reflects the belief that any dream is attainable in America so long as one has grit, a diligent work ethic and a dream. Assistant Attorney General of the US Department of Justice Makan Delrahim says, “This conference is about ensuring that diverse communities are empowered to take advantage of business opportunity.”
Our panelists on Sustainable Homeownership and Economic Empowerment included American Banker’s Joe Adler, Special Assistant to the President of the United States Ja’Ron K. Smith, and Director at the Office of Block Grant Assistance. Our panelists on Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity and Inclusion included Executive Director of White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Holly Ham, Vice President of Federal Government and External Affairs at T-Mobile Marie Sylla-Dixon, Senior Vice President of State Government Affairs at Charter Communications Adam Falk, and Founder and CEO of the Latino Coalition for Community Leadership Richard Ramos.
Prior to the conference, members of our advocacy group met with government officials for a series of meetings designed to produce, where possible, bipartisan solutions that will strengthen our government’s ability to address issues of diversity and inclusion. Amongst the meetings we had prior to the event include Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of the US Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Chairman of the SEC Jay Clayton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Administrator of the SBA Bill Manger, Comptroller of the US Currency Joseph Otting, Assistant Attorney General if the US Department of Justice Makan Delrahim, Chairman of the FDIC Jelena McWilliams, Senior VP of External Relations at Wells Fargo Ruben Barrales, Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank Erica Belsky, and more.
While recognizing the tremendous progress we have achieved over the past few years, we know that there is a lot more we can do together – in priority areas such as affordable housing, CRA reform, and further reducing the income and wealth gap for minorities. We thus press forward after each meaningful conversation with our government leaders as we discuss ways that we may build on the momentum of the past few years to truly make an impact on the communities we serve.
All of this time, effort, and dedication is designed to support NDC’s mission to empower and influence our nation’s minority communities at every level of government and within the business community. Many thanks and appreciation to everyone that has come to sit, eat, talk with, report of, contribute to, and witness the great event that was the National Diversity Coalition’s first ever Town Hall Meeting. Together we shape the future.
May God bless you and your relentless service to your community.
President and CEO – National Diversity Coalition