The Federal Reserve System invites you to virtually join the sixth annual Banking and the Economy: A Forum for Minorities in Banking. The forum is designed for middle management to senior level leaders who are people of color in the financial services sector and will include industry, leadership and professional development experiences to enhance your careers and networks.

About This Event:

Event topics will include:

  • Industry updates
  • Professional development conversations
  • Diversity and inclusion strategies
  • Virtual networking opportunities

See the full list of speaker and panelist biographies PDFhere.

Who should attend?

Mid-level management and senior-level leaders in the financial services sector who are people of color.

Registration for this event is now closed.

CPE Credit

For instructions on how to receive CPE credit for your participation and more information on the learning objectives, visit this webpage.


Day 1:

Opening and Welcome

Esther L. George
President and Chief Executive Officer (2011-2023), Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Breaking Down Barriers to Financial Inclusion

The Federal Reserve Bank works to foster a healthy economy that works for everyone, and that encompasses an inclusive financial system. Join us for a fireside chat addressing the systemic barriers to credit and financial services that continue to hold many communities back.

Neel Kashkari
President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Darrick Hamilton
Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, and Founding Director at the Institute on Race and Political Economy, The New School

Connect and Converse: Facilitated Networking Session

Connect with other forum participants from your region in this brief networking session. This engaging and interactive video session will allow you to connect with other professionals in an informal setting. Please note that participants will be asked to have their video on during this session to allow for more personal interactions.

Day 2:

What to Know About the Current Economy

Join Minneapolis Fed Economist, Terry Fitzgerald, for an update on the current state of the economy. He will share insights on the national economic outlook and discuss monetary policy objectives and concerns.

Terry Fitzgerald
Vice President and Assistant Director of Economic Analysis, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Panel Discussion on Building Economic Opportunities and Wealth Creation

Calls for swift action to end systemic racism have gotten louder and expectations have mounted for regulated financial institutions to play a major role — especially when it comes to closing the wealth gap for people of color. Hear first-hand how some organizations are using creativity and innovation to challenge the status quo when it comes to economic opportunities and wealth creation within their communities.

Darrin Williams
| Moderator Chief Executive Officer, Southern Bancorp, Inc.
George Ashton
| Panelist Managing Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Joanne Kim
| Panelist Chief Executive Officer and President, Commonwealth Business Bank
Erik Sprink
| Panelist Chief Executive Officer and President, Coastal Community Bank
Mary Ellen Iskenderian
| Panelist Chief Executive Officer and President, Women’s World Banking

Day 3:

Connect and Collaborate: Facilitated Networking Session

In this fast-paced and interactive session, you’ll have the opportunity to join your peers in small groups and collaborate on leadership strategies. Please note that participants will be asked to have their video on during this session to allow for more personal interactions.

Day 4:

Personal Resiliency for Leaders

Improvisational skill is the ability to adapt and excel in communication, collaboration, leadership, change readiness – all with boundless resilience to weather what’s new and changing and unexpected. The vulnerability and self-compassion that improvisers must practice on stage is the same foundation that we all need to thrive in this uncertain and evolving time. In this session, learn proven strategies for personal resilience from people who willingly get laughed at in public for a living!

Liz Joynt-Sandberg
Second City Works

Panel Discussion on Addressing the Diversity Gap in the Banking Pipeline

The financial services industry has long grappled with a lack of diversity among its workforce, but some organizations have made great strides to bridge the gap. In this session, you’ll hear from large, regional and community bank leaders about the strategies and challenges they have faced as they work to increase diversity within the talent pipeline.

La Toya Lewis
| Moderator Vice President of Innovation, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Colette Campbell
| Panelist Chief Talent Acquisition and Diversity Officer, Bremer Bank
Greg Cunningham
| Panelist Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, US Bank
Kianga Lee
| Panelist Vice President of Administrative Operations, Independent Community Bankers of America
Kleber Santos
| Panelist Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Diverse Segments, Representation & Inclusion, Wells Fargo

Day 5:

Architecture of My Authenticity

The "Architecture of Authenticity" is about empowering you to strategize your purpose and how your purpose feeds your career, relationships, workplace, etc. How can you sit in the driver's seat of your purpose? How can your purpose come to light where you are and how can it co-exist with others' purposes? It is a lesson in sequencing your strategy. It is a lesson of how to be "who" in the right "where."

Caroline Wanga is currently the CEO of Essence Communications Inc. (and Chief Growth Officer of Essence Ventures), the independent Black-owned consumer technology company focused on merging content, community, and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color. Most recently, Wanga led Target’s strategic intent to champion an inclusive society with accountability for inclusive guest experiences, a diverse and inclusive work environment and societal impact.

Caroline Wanga
Chief Executive Officer, Essence Communications Inc.

Closing and Thank You

Alene Tchourumoff
Senior Vice President of Community Development and the Center for Indian Country Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Making it Stick: Your Post Forum Plan

After a week of hearing from industry, leadership and professional development experts, the real work has only just begun. Join Ditu Kasuyi as he guides us through best practices for: creating an action plan to follow up on what we’ve learned; following up with new colleagues met during the forum; and how to leverage our community for accountability.

Ditu Kasuyi
Advisory Board President, Urban Financial Services Coalition