Yellen Creates Racial Equity Panel, Appoints HOPE’s Bynum to Committee

The committee, featuring the CEO of Hope Credit Union, drew pushback from a prominent Republican House member. Learn why.

David Baumann


Oct 14



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David Baumann

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David Baumann

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Creation of advisory committee featuring Hope Credit Union CEO draws pushback from House Financial Services Committee ranking Republican.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has announced the formation of a Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity and that Bill Bynum, CEO of HOPE, will serve on the panel.

Among other activities, HOPE operates the Hope Federal Credit Union, which is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi.

Shortly after Yellen’s announcement, the committee was denounced by a key Republican House member and by Fox News.

What Will the Committee Do?

In announcing the committee, Yellen said the panel will provide recommendations on how to advance racial equity in the economy and address disparities for communities of color. The committee’s work will include financial inclusion problems and access to capital and economic development.

“A critical piece of executing on our racial equity goals is bringing a wide set of outside perspectives and lived experiences to the decision-making table,” Yellen said.

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, now a professor at Columbia University, will serve as chairman of the committee and Felicia Wong, president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute think tank, will serve as vice-chairman.

Following the announcement, Bynum thanked Treasury Department officials for the appointment and added, “As America becomes more diverse, making racial equity a priority in policy decisions serves the nation’s collective interest and makes the economy more resilient.”

Pushback From Republican House Member

However, the ranking Republican on the House Financial Services Committee condemned the formation of the advisory committee.

“The Biden Administration is driving our economy off a cliff by continuing to pursue their progressive agenda and elevating the most radical voices on the left, like Ms. Wong,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.

He added, “Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee are deeply concerned about the makeup and goals of this so-called ‘advisory committee’ and will get the answers from the Treasury Department that the American people deserve.”

In criticizing Wong, McHenry was relying on a Fox News report contending that the Roosevelt Institute is a “liberal think tank that wants to abolish for-profit prisons, reimagine capitalism, and put racial justice at the ‘center’ of all government policymaking.”

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