This forum is designed to enhance the careers and networks of middle management to senior-level leaders who are people of color in the financial services industry. Event sessions will include industry updates, professional development conversations, diversity and inclusion strategies, and networking opportunities.

This is planned as a hybrid event. Attendees are welcome to join us in person at the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank or via Zoom webinar.

The Federal Reserve requires all employees and visitors to be fully vaccinated to gain entry. Upon arrival, the officer at the Bank entrance will ask to see your vaccination card (a picture of the card on your phone will fulfill this requirement).  If you are not fully vaccinated, they ask that you provide a negative PCR test. Please note that they will only accept a PCR or rapid COVID test; at-home tests are not accepted.


Day 1:

Registration and breakfast

Welcome and opening remarks

Doris Quirós
| Speaker Senior Vice President of Supervision, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Economic update

Hear an update on the current state of the economy, including insights on the national economic outlook and monetary policy objectives and concerns.

Paula Tkac
| Speaker Senior Vice President and Associate Research Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


Future of banking panel

Financial Technology or Fintech is a broad term used to describe methods to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services. Does this lead to disruption? This panel will focus on how Fintech is changing the competitive landscape for banks, both large and small.

Neil Desai
| Moderator Director of Analytics, Innovation and Modeling, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Mike Duncan
| Panelist Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bankjoy
Anthony Sabelli
| Panelist Head of Data Science, Kabbage from American Express
Pient Tran
| Panelist Vice President of External Affairs, Capital One

Networking with Cvent

Watch an overview of the Cvent Attendee Hub and learn how to utilize the web application and the mobile app to network with virtual and in-person forum attendees.


Breakout sessions

The Rich History of America’s Black-Owned Banks

Tim Todd, Historian, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

During the late 19th and 20th centuries, black banks were not purely a financial endeavor or a business opportunity. More importantly, they were catalysts in helping families and individuals establish businesses, buy homes, and pay for an education that could open the door to opportunity. In their role as pillars of the community, Black banks were involved in some of the most important race relations events in American history. During the struggle for civil rights, Black bankers were among the leaders in the Black community who spearheaded the fight for social justice.

Building Bridges Between Banks and Communities

Ariel Cisneros, Lead Community Development Adviser, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Jerry Cutts, President and Chief Executive Officer, First Children’s Finance

Learn about the Community Reinvestment Act and how it’s helped banks successfully partner with non-profit organizations to bring about positive impact to their communities.

Managing by Your Instinctive Strengths

Alesha Arscott, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Unleashed

Learn the secret to unlocking your and your team’s instinctive strengths for getting great work done, the ideal diversity mix for enhancing team synergy, and the keys for negotiating with your boss to have the freedom to be your full selves at work with less stress.

Virtual Mix n' Mingle


Breaking barriers: Creating your unique path to leadership

In this session, you will hear from a former senior government executive about strategies for thriving and finding success in a culturally challenged environment.

Arleas Upton Kea
| Speaker Former Deputy to the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Networking reception

Day 2:


Opening remarks

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

Leadership Chat with President Raphael Bostic

Hear from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic on his leadership and career journey.

Raphael Bostic
| Speaker President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Tammy Edwards
| Speaker Senior Vice President, Community Engagement and Inclusion, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Cultivating the Leaders of Tomorrow Panel

This panel discussion will focus on the opportunities and challenges of attracting and retaining diversified talent in the fields of banking and finance at early- and mid-career levels. Hear about programs, talent development tips and success stories from partnerships between academic, nonprofit, and financial institutions.

Caleb Bobo
| Moderator Supervisory Examiner, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Olga Camargo
| Panelist National Board Chair, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement
Bola Olaniyan
| Panelist Executive Director, The Sadie Collective
John Scroggins
| Panelist Senior Vice President, Allegiance Bank


Radical Self-Care: An Elixir and Salve to the Wounds of Tokenization

People of color in positions of leadership often suffer from “being the only” in their company or department given that most institutions (like banking) were not made for or with us in mind. “Being the only” or “being the first” may be cause for celebration, but it can also be a lonely, arduous, and exhausting place to be. This session serves to provide you with an antidote to the onerous role of “being the only one” or “one of a handful” who look like you in positions of leadership. That antidote is self-care rooted in the ability to determine and define for yourself who you are and what constitutes success.

SooJin Pate
| Speaker Professor, Writer, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant

Making it Stick

What’s next post forum? 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
| Speaker Advisory Board President, Urban Financial Services Coalition

Closing remarks

Donald Bowers
| Speaker Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch