As a CEO of a community bank, I have observed the devastating consequences of both generational and situational poverty. In fact, situational poverty has become a major impediment to our bank’s performance.
It is abundantly clear that community bankers have an enormous stake in working to ensure the economic viability of our communities. Our responsibility goes far beyond teaching financial literacy—it includes working to reduce poverty. We can no longer ignore poverty as if it is someone else’s problem.
I see Bridges Out of Poverty as a platform for dialogue and coordinated action that will resonate in the business community. The community bankers I know are empathetic people who truly care about their communities. What Bridges provides is the common language and focus on results that is needed for us to take collective action. Using this tool, we can develop qualitative data as a benchmark to build consensus and action plans among varied stakeholders. This is not only possible, but achievable.
In particular, I hope to challenge my banker friends and those in my business network to rise to meet the challenge of poverty. Not only are there economic reasons, but it simply is the “right thing” to do. We have the ability to work together to bring about positive change over time.
If not now, then when? If not us, then who?
Bridges to me is the platform, serving as both an inflection point and our “call to action.”
By Dan L. Moore, President/CEO, Home Bank, Martinsville, IN