Giving rural areas access to banking and other financial resources was the focus of a conference in the Mississippi Delta where Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell was the keynote speaker. MPB’s Alexandra Watts reports.
Speaking to a crowd gathered at Mississippi Valley State University, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said that while the national unemployment rate is low, rural areas like the Mississippi Delta are still struggling.
“Access to safe and affordable financial services is vital especially among families with limited wealth,” He said. “Whether they are looking to invest in education, start a business or simply manage the ups and downs of life.”
Powell spoke to business, philanthropy and community leaders at an event organized by Hope Credit Union Enterprise Corporation about efforts to curb rural poverty.
Eastmoor Estates is a Delta community that Earnest Bush calls home.
He said financial resources provided by Hope Credit Union helped individuals and the community as a whole.
“The street, the sewage, the housing…the building of the houses, it’s a whole lot better than it was. Even though they’re putting their money in it, they’re really paying attention to what’s going on and that’s a good thing.”
The event also focused on how civil rights issues are still having an effect on poverty in the Delta.
Alexandra Watts is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. www.ReportforAmerica.org