Community Impact | November 9, 2022

UFCU Joins DECA Alliance in Promoting Economic Equity

Although prosperity in the Austin area has grown exponentially in recent years, not all have shared equitably in this new wealth. Now, a coalition of diverse groups has united to address this issue in the city.

Read more about UFCU’s commitment to building financial health in our communities.

UFCU is proud to support the Diversity and Ethnic Chamber Alliance (DECA, formerly the Multi-Ethnic Chamber Alliance), an 1,800-member organization that aims to lower barriers and promote equity for small-business owners and workers in our communities. DECA seeks to assist individuals, firms, and communities in accessing avenues to the wealth increase that Austin has experienced in recent decades.

Olivia Hayden, Senior Relationship Management Specialist at UFCU, has a close relationship with the four Austin-area chambers. She said, “Austin is a growing economic powerhouse which shows no sign of slowing. In an ideal world, this tide would lift all boats. Unfortunately, only some have been lifted—we have not seen growth distributed throughout all communities, especially communities of color. The pandemic further harmed vulnerable minority and LGBT-owned businesses. DECA came about because economic equity must become a conscious priority for Austin.”

The coalition is made up of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Austin LGBT Chamber, Greater Austin Black Chamber, and Greater Austin Asian Chamber. Having recently received partial funding from the Austin City Council, their first order of business has been to develop a five-year Regional Economic Equity Development (REED) Plan. This holistic proposal addresses needs for housing, transit, bid/contract assistance, job training, targeted recruitment childcare, and many more areas to empower traditionally disenfranchised people to become business owners and earners who create wealth, employ others, and generate meaningful opportunities for advancement.

UFCU also believes that equity in employment is critical to community financial health. This commitment has led to our award-winning paid-internship program, our partnerships with Goodwill and others, and integrity in our own hiring practices. We look forward to working with DECA toward our shared goals for DEI (diversity, equality, and inclusion) in Central Texas.