Local News

Bank Black Durham campaign strives to reinvest in minority ownership of homes, businesses

Posted September 18, 2020 7:00 p.m. EDT

Two men in Durham have launched a movement to increase Black ownership of homes and small businesses in Durham.

Their campaign, called Bank Black Durham, is working to shed light on the role banks play in shaping minority communities. 

Black-owned banks like Mechanics and Farmers in Durham support under-served communities by helping people realize their dreams of owning a home or business. 

The fight against racial injustices and the economic impact of the pandemic put a spotlight on how people invest in their community.

“The biggest part of racial inequality in America is economic inequality,” said Craig Carter, the co-founder of Bank Black Durham.

Craig Carter was inspired to launch the campaign to finally address this issue.

“We want to make sure we’re going beyond just a Black Lives Matter yard sign and put our money where our mouth is,” said Leonardo Williams, the Owner of Zwelli’s Kitchen, who has also joined with Bank Black Durham.

Williams has firsthand experience of discrimination from when he first started his business.

“We had the credit score. We had the capital. We had the opportunity. The concept. But when it came to actually getting funds – we were not considered viable,” he said.

All too often, he said, minorities are turned away by mainstream banks for loans and mortgages. 

With financial loss on the rise due to the pandemic, equal accessibility is vital.

“When we lose small business we lose jobs," Williams said. "We lose jobs, then we lose independency as far as sustaining our family household."

The campaign is working with M&F bank to reinvest in and support minority communities.

“I want to move millions of dollars to black owned banks so that they can help provide loans to people who want homes, people who want businesses and help reinvigorate Black communities across the country,” said Carter.

The campaign organizers are planning a rally at the CCB Plaza on October 3 for anyone who wants to learn more about the movement.

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