Many have heard of the ‘Black Wall Street’ area in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was a successful black neighborhood where the dollar famously recirculated 36 times before leaving the community. That area was also known as the Greenwood District. Tragically in June 1921, racial riots erupted, resulting in hundreds of deaths and the burning down of the Greenwood District Now, almost 100 years later, Greenwood is a banking platform so named as an ode to the spirit of Greenwood District. This conversation between Andrew J. Young, civil rights legend, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and former Mayor of Atlanta and Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, an activist in black financial empowerment and rapper, is centered around the legacy of Black Wall Street.
Together they created the Greenwood Bank which is a financial institution that focuses on changing the wealth gap between Americans. Greenwood has secured $3 million in seed funding from private investors as the first digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people and business owners. Greenwood features best-in-class online banking services and innovative ways of giving back to Black and Latinx causes and businesses. Like its competitors Chime, Aspiration, Money Lion and Vero, Greenwood is a digital bank whose financial services — including checking and savings accounts, mobile deposits and peer-to-peer transfers — are fulfilled almost entirely online. The bank offers a global ATM network, Apple and Android Pay services, and two-day advances on paychecks for customers who sign up for direct deposit.
“We needed to create a new financial platform that understands our history and our needs going forward, a banking platform built by us and for us, a platform that helps us build a stronger future for our communities. This is our time to take back control of our lives and our financial future. That is why we launched Greenwood, modern banking for the culture. Today, a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community but only six hours in the Black community,” said Michael ‘Killer Mike’ Render.
“Moreover, a Black person is twice as likely as a white person to be denied a mortgage. This lack of fairness in the financial system is why we created Greenwood.”
Greenwood’s founders include:
- Andrew J. Young, civil rights legend, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and former Mayor of Atlanta
- Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, rapper and activist in Black financial empowerment
- Ryan Glover, Greenwood Chairman and founder of Bounce TV network