BETTENDORF, IOWA (October 26, 2020) — Thirteen banks and credit unions serving the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities have pooled their resources to give more than $130,000 to the United Way’s United for Equity Fund, created to address and solve inequities in education, income and health.

Among the financial institutions are Ascentra Credit Union, Bank of America, BankORION, Blackhawk Bank and Trust, Blue Grass Savings Bank, Deere Employees Credit Union, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, Northwest Bank and Trust, Quad City Bank and Trust, R I A Federal Credit Union, SENB Bank, TBK Bank, and The Family Credit Union.

“We are so grateful to the Quad-Cities area’s financial leaders for their inspiring collaboration to drive equitable change — and proud to be part of this unprecedented collaboration,” United Way President/CEO Rene Gellerman said.

“Putting opportunity in the hands of every Quad Citizen is why our financial and banking organizations are coming together to support United for Equity. Their collective investments, dedication, and their passion for a stronger, more equitable region will help drive transformational change and strengthen the building blocks of opportunity for all Quad Citizens.”

Northwest Bank and Trust President and CEO Joe Slavens was an early supporter of the United for Equity project, and personally reached out to executives to do their part to raise living standards for everyone in the community.

“This year, the spotlight on COVID-19 has been shared by the painful reality that, despite the progress we have made to reduce minority disenfranchisement, we still have so much more to do,” Slavens said. “And, while we might like to think that inequity does not exist in Quad Cities, the United Way and the African American Leadership Society have tracked racial disparities that divide the community in areas that affect quality of life.”

The results of Slavens’ and Gellerman’s outreach efforts have been overwhelmingly positive, and have resulted in local financial institutions accounting for more than half of the $200,000 goal for the United for Equity Fund. The fund will provide grants to social entrepreneurs, grassroots organizations, and non-profits advancing innovative efforts aimed to reduce racial disparities.

“United Way uses its resources and networks to bring the best people, ideas, and projects together to create opportunities for all Quad Citizens,” Slavens said. “By coming together — as executives, co-workers, or individuals — we can change not just the statistics, but, more importantly, the lives of our fellow Quad Citizens.”

To learn more about United Way Quad Cities and the United for Equity project, visit www.unitedwayqc.org. Additional information on the United for Equity grants will be available at the Thursday, November 19, noon-1PM, virtual event Courageous Conversations: Equity in Action.

About United Way of the Quad Cities

United Way is a community-based social-change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all Quad Citizens. Working with our determined partners, volunteers, advocates, and donors, we lead the charge to improve education, income, and health the building blocks of opportunity. The result is a mobilized community where every Quad Citizen is living their best possible life: unitedwayqc.org.

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