Contact: Rafael Morales, Communications Officer
212-809-1850 ext. 206
(11/17/2005 – Wichita, Kansas) More than 200 people came out on November 12, 2005 for Communities United Credit Union’s 1st Annual REACH Awards Banquet in Wichita, KS. The inaugural ceremony recognized the perseverance of the credit union’s members living with disabilities in overcoming the barriers and obstacles to reaching their personal goals.
“The exceptional accomplishment of the awardees, Cheryl Billingsley, James Boyce, Tiffany Nickel, and Leroy Rolfe; individuals, who despite facing amazing adversity have managed to overcome the challenges to prevail, are an inspiration and a reminder to everyone that our dreams are always within reach,” said Cliff Rosenthal, Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (the Federation).
Guest speakers for the event included Kathy Martinez, Executive Director of the World Institute on Disability and Lynette Woodard, a 2004 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and a 2005 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.
“This is an opportunity to honor people who have focused on their abilities, not their disabilities, to achieve greatness,” explained Communities United CU CEO Angie Franklin.
In 2004 Communities United Credit Union was selected as pilot CDCU to develop a work plan specially focused on improving the economic independence, social empowerment and community integration of people with disabilities for the Asset Accumulation and Tax Policy Project (AATP). The idea to hold this awards ceremony was conceived by Angie Franklin while attending a disability module at the Federation’s CDCU Institute™.
AATP, which is a project of the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center at the University of Iowa, College of Law, unites organizations serving persons with disabilities with credit unions and other financial institutions to produce groundbreaking research on social and financial barriers to people with disabilities, and opportunities for redress through public policies.
AATP is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the Law, Health Policy, and Disability Center at the University of Iowa, College of Law. Key partners on the project include the National Cooperative Bank Development Corporation; the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions; Southern New Hampshire University, School of Community Economic Development; and the World Institute on Disability.