From the: Summer 2022 Newsletter

Erin Lopez
DEI Director Erin Lopez Nielsen

DFI is committed to promoting positive change for greater financial equity in communities of color and other underserved groups in Washington State.

As part of our commitment, we are engaging the community, industry, and staff to co-create how we do this work.  We are laser focused on reducing barriers and eliminating inequities in all aspects of decision making, such as service delivery, program development, policy development, staffing, and budgeting.

Since our last newsletter and sharing that we hired a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Director, we have implemented the below outcomes.

  • Engaged with industry, community, and agency partners through more than 200 small group and one-on-one virtual conversations.
  • Participated in more than 50 events and sub-committee meetings.
  • Incorporated DEI priorities into our agency 2022 strategic plan.
  • Presented to the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs Economic Develop Committee, NAACP Student Opportunity: Pacific Coast Banking School Information Session, the Northwest Credit Union Association, and Community Bankers of Washington.
  • Expanded DEI within our grant application by adding new questions on whether applicants are community connected and community rooted. Hosted two meetings with community organizations about our grant application.
  • Partnered with the NAACP and Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS) to create spots in graduate banking school with scholarship opportunities for individuals working in community lending and other related industries.
  • Collaborated with industry to bring the Housing and Finance Commission down payment assistance resources into continuing education for Washington Mortgage Loan Originators.

As we look towards the second half of 2022, our DEI priorities are:

  • Integrate Washington State’s value of “We All Belong Here” into everything
  • Invest in multi-agency fact sheets to simplify government processes and better connect consumers with the right department.
  • Intentional and focused efforts towards increasing home ownership and addressing disparities.
  • Creating a foundation for 2023 to continue to expand this work.

If you would like to be part of co-creating solutions, please reach out to DFI DEI Director Erin Lopez at erin.lopez@dfi.wa.gov.