America’s Wealthiest Black County to Launch Its First Ever Federal Credit Union Charter
Troy Smith, Founder and CEO of G1 Commercial Mortgage and the United States Economic Right Coalition (USERC), announces the first national crowdfunding effort for Charles County, Maryland’s first ever Federal Credit Union Charter.
Charles County has been named as the wealthiest African American county in the United States, yet a recent disparity study released in July 2021 by Griffin & Strong P.C. in Atlanta Georgia has uncovered an alarming procurement disparity showing that of the $301,355,727 spent by the county during fiscal years 2015 through 2019 92.87% went to white owned businesses while just 2.16% went to African American businesses, despite African Americans making up more than 50% of the county population. African American businesses and households are also either not funded or under funded by the large banks and out-of-county credit unions, leading to a lack of competitive opportunity which a properly funded business enjoys.
Smith comments, “It is time that the wealthiest African American community takes a stand and illustrates to the entire country how there is power in the hands of the average African American person when as a people we pool our economic resources. African Americans as a people collectively are richer than ever nation in the world except two—the United States and China. As a people, African Americans bring in $4.9 trillion annually. If we can find a way to arouse the conscious of the everyday African American person, we can change the economic landscape of our country forever. We, as a people, are helped to our knees but never to our feet. Unless we can create and control the vehicles that collect, store, and distribute the wealth of our communities. Too many of us will always live and toil in poverty. We must take control of our wealth.”
He adds, “However, controlling our wealth means that we need to control the economic vehicles that produce wealth. The financial institutions that our dollars are deposited into, use our dollars to finance other businesses, while telling us that we do not qualify. It is a fact that without our deposits, those gargantuan financial institutions wouldn’t qualify to lend our dollars to other businesses. The power lies in the hands of the people.”
Smith along with seven other concerned Charles County residents have begun the Federal Credit Union chartering process. The plan is to pool the wealth of the African Americans in Charles County and begin to invest through funding dollars back into the people and businesses in which those dollars belong. This is just one step in a large vision known as Operation TOOFI, (The Opening Of Financial Institutions). As a people we can guarantee that we are economically supported without the need of any government hand out. We have the power to change it right now and quickly.
The crowdfunding campaign is seeking to raise $10 million by receiving $100 from 100,000 people. Once Charles County is successful with establishing its first ever African American owned credit union, it will create a mentorship program and begin assisting with the launch of other African American owned credit unions all across the country. “We must move to a new movement. Civil Rights are established. They still need to be enhanced and protected, but we must move on to Economic Rights and a decent way of life for our communities,” Smith says.