August 18 Summit Recap: Financial Inclusion on the Westside

At the August 18 Transform Westside summit, attendees were treated to an informative, community-focused financial presentation from Ann Chakales (Community Affairs Manager, Equifax), Michelle Parker, (Program Officer, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions), and Regina Grant (Center Director, On the Rise Financial Center).

Chakales highlighted Equifax’s involvement with the Westside Future Fund and identified some of the company’s objectives in providing resources to the community:

  • Knowledge Sharing and Skill Building
  • Encourage and Engage Residents in Financial Wellbeing Practices
  • Increase Access to Financial Institutions and Assets Building Products

Equifax has partnered with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions to establish the On the Rise Financial Center, which offers a wide range of financial education to assist Westside residents in reaching their financial goals. Parker gave some background on the Federation as a National CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution), as well as information about the credit union’s philosophy and structure, why financial inclusion is important, and some proven solutions.

In April 2017, the Federation launched the Atlanta-based On the Rise Financial Center to build financial well-being for individuals and families in the Vine City, English Avenue, and Castleberry Hill communities. The Center is an initiative in partnership with local credit unions: 1st Choice CU, BOND Community FCU, Credit Union of Atlanta, and Peach State FCU.

Center Director Regina Grant gave an overview of the Center’s mission and purpose, plus outlined the wide range of financial education to help Westside residents attain their financial goals:

  • Workshops: Home Buyer Education and Money Management
  • Classes: Group Financial Awareness and Stability Training (FAST)
  • Counseling: Individual budget planning with credit-building tools

Grant delved deeper into the Center’s educational components, available financial products, success stories, and future plans, in addition to answering questions from the audience.

To view the full Summit presentation, click here.