Wells Fargo Stakeholder Council is a Sham – below, open letter to Mark Morial, President – Urban League
By Reverend Anthony Evans, National Black Church Initiative
Washington DC – The National Black Church Initiative, a coalition of 34,000 churches representing 15.7 million African Americans has issued a letter condemning The National Urban League and the Wells Fargo Stakeholder Advisory Council for their moral silence and collaboration with Wells Fargo who has been fined over a billion dollars for stealing from homeowners and churches.
Here is the text of the letter:
Dear Mr. Marc Morial:
First, Congratulations on your tenure at the National Urban League, we believe it has been a success thus far.
We are excited and want to let you know of an extraordinary effort by the National Black Church Initiative to grow Black homeownership over 51% over the next ten years. We call this initiative, NBCI Black 51% Homeownership Program. We are counting on your support. We have included a copy for your perusal.
We are writing to you concerning The National Urban League’s relationship to Wells Fargo Bank. We are happy that you a part of Wells Fargo’s Stakeholder Advisory Council. It is essential that someone of your statute be present to articulate to Wells Fargo the damage they have done over the years to African American Homeownership and community.
Other members of the council should be noted here, Michael Calhoun, President of The Center for Responsible Lending, Mindy S. Lubber, CEO and President of Ceres, Janet Murguía, CEO and President of UnidosUS, Sister Nora Nash, director of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, a member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Anne Sheehan, director of Corporate Governance, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, John Taylor, president and CEO of The National Community Reinvestment Coalition. We read with interest the mission of the council, but the mission sounds dubious in nature. Largely because we can find no impact of what this council is doing to protect African American Homeowners.
However, your presence is also troubling due to the fact that we cannot find any public complaints against Wells Fargo by you or either the National Urban League or any member of the Wells Fargo Stakeholder Advisory Council. This is in light of the fact of the many sins of Wells Fargo and their systematic attack on our community. In a press release by NBCI entitled, The National Black Church Initiative Launches Nationwide Boycott Against Wells Fargo: The Black Church Calls Them Thieves! Thieves! Thieves!, (attached) discloses the quite graphic details the abuse of Wells Fargo and the systematic attack of Wells Fargo on the African American community.
The National Black Church Initiative is a coalition of 34,000 African American and Latino Churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all its members, congregants, Churches, and the public. Our methodology incorporates faith-based, sound health science and technology. NBCI partners with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting-edge, evidence-based solutions to tenacious economic and social issues.
How is it that you and The National Urban League have not said one negative word publicly against Wells Fargo? We can only conclude that you have not done so because of the enormous contribution Wells Fargo has consistently provided to The National Urban League. So, let us get this right as faith leaders, is it all right with you that Wells Fargo exploits the African American community and steal tens of billions of dollars through their savings and home equities? The National Urban League which is one of our premiere civil rights organizations has said absolutely nothing.
We googled the Urban League under the subject matter, The National Urban League criticism of Wells Fargo, and nothing came up. We pointed out earlier in this letter that you serve on The Wells Fargo Stakeholder Advisory Council, and we thought that this would give you great opportunity to advocate on behalf of African Americans who have been financially victimized by Wells Fargo. But even in this capacity, you have done nothing to protect the Black community, only to ensure the fact you and the other members of the Wells Fargo Stakeholder Advisory Council receive your annual contributions from Wells Fargo.
So many of us in the faith-based community believe that you have been paid off and have no credibility. So, let us get this right, you expect the Black Church community to respond whenever you call upon us when there is a crisis in the community and utilize our moral authority and the church treasury to protest for or against any issue that The National Urban League deem critical to our community. However, it is all right that you and the National Urban League accept tens of millions of dollars from Wells Fargo as they systematically destroy Black homeowners, houses of worship, economic development organizations, and you say nothing against them as long as you are receiving your annual donation.
Your lack of action is morally reprehensible and morally criminal in nature. This is why we are calling you out for refusing to defend the very community that you vow to protect. You and the National Urban League must be publicly condemned for your lack of action on behalf of the poor in particular and Black community in general. By only looking out for the interests of the National Urban League, you contribute to the continuous undermining and the lack of capitalization and wealth building of our community.
The donation that you received from Wells Fargo is the same money that Wells Fargo has stolen from Black families and Black Churches. The National Urban League is guilty of helping Wells Fargo rape the Black community. How is it, that the National Urban League with all of that rich history has turned into an organization that supports a continuous criminal enterprise like Wells Fargo.
The National Black Church has decided to take actions against you unless we have the opportunity to sit down and talk with you. We will be calling your office about setting up a meeting to talk about this issue.
Reverend Anthony Evans