Racial Equity and Economic Inclusion
Program on Economic Inclusion
Messages from President Mester
- September 28, 2020: Toward a More Inclusive Economy
- June 19, 2020: Juneteenth Message
- May 10, 2020: How to increase the resilience of the American economy will be a key question once the coronavirus crisis abates
- February 27, 2020: 'You’re a central bank. You should be representing the public'
At the Cleveland Fed, we have a long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion, and opportunity for our employees and for the communities we serve.
We value accountability, excellence, inclusion, innovation, integrity, and service. We strive to embed our values into both our work itself and the way we get that work done, individually and together. As we enhance our focus on racial equity and economic inclusion for all, we are committed to valuing the attributes we have in common and those that make us unique.
The Racial Equity and Economic Inclusion webpage serves as a point of entry to our ongoing research and the data and information that we continue to gather focused on racial equity and related issues. You will also find a list of upcoming events and programs, links to information, outlets for participation, and more.
A message from Loretta J. Mester, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
June 22, 2020
The brutal killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man, father, brother, and uncle, and the deaths of many other people of color before him make it clear that many people in this country continue to suffer the consequences of racial injustice. Racial injustice is not acceptable nor can it be tolerated. None of us should allow this time to pass by without a renewed commitment to take action against systemic racism and to take action for racial and economic equality.
As president and CEO of the Cleveland Fed, I want to state clearly that our organization will work toward changing the status quo. We will actively challenge ourselves to live by our values, values that embrace diversity and inclusion as the road to excellence. We will continue to work to increase the diversity of our boards of directors, our leadership ranks, and our staff so that our organization better reflects the diversity of the Fourth District communities we serve. We will listen more and actively learn from what we hear. We will undertake more analysis and outreach to better understand and document the effects of systemic racism and economic inequality on people of color. We will engage in public discussions and difficult conversations about racism. We will work with our Community Advisory Council and other organizations in the region to help identify policies and solutions to combat inequality and to promote economic inclusion so that all people have the opportunity to fully participate in the economy.
The Federal Reserve System’s mission is to work on behalf of the public to promote the health of the U.S. economy and the stability of the financial system. Pursuant to that mission, I believe that the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has a responsibility to do what we can to combat prejudice and promote economic inclusion so that the U.S. economy can live up to its full potential and the U.S. can truly be the land of opportunity for all.
- Federal Reserve System event on November 18, 2020: How Diverse Perspectives Improve Economics
- Cleveland Fed event on October 21, 2020: How has COVID-19 Impacted Minority-Owned Firms?
- Cleveland Fed Community Development Brief: “An Uphill Battle: COVID-19's Outsized Toll on Minority-Owned Firms” (October 8, 2020)
- Fed Communities Publication: “‘A Fish with Very Little Water’: Businesses Deep in the Desert Qualify for PPP Loans with Help from Rural Leader” (October 8, 2020)
- Cleveland Fed Community Development Brief: “The Decline in Access to Jobs and the Location of Employment Growth in the US Metro Areas: Implications for Economic Opportunity and Mobility.” (October 1, 2020)
- Cleveland Fed President's Speech to the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania: “Toward a More Inclusive Economy” (September 28, 2020)
Our internships provide college juniors, seniors, and graduate students paid, meaningful work experience in their areas of study, along with opportunities to network with specialists in their fields and beyond. These opportunities transform students’ academic endeavors into related work experience so that participants gain the practical knowledge needed for today’s global job market. Our hands-on projects seek to challenge our interns and to stretch their skills, helping them achieve goals they may have previously thought beyond their reach. And after their internships conclude? They become part of a candidate pool for current and future career opportunities at the Bank. Visit our intern program page for more information.
Here at the Cleveland Fed, we believe that everyone has the right to fair and equitable opportunities to develop their skills and competencies. Through tuition reimbursement for college courses and internal and external learning opportunities, employees have the access they need to enhance their skill sets. We engage in ongoing development discussions, and our human resources partners and talent management team help our employees identify relevant training. No matter where we are in our careers, the need for learning and development continues.
Together, we’ve worked to build our high-performance culture, and together we give our best every day to maintain it. We call this “leading from where you are”: presenting thoughtful ideas, even (and especially) if they seem like something we’ve not done before; working mindfully on projects both large and small; pushing ourselves when we realize we are out of our comfort zones; and moving away from the status quo in order to help the Bank move forward. We are smart individuals with a multitude of different experiences and skills, and we use them each day to better ourselves, each other, and the Bank.
Lead from where you are is the foundation for how we support our strategy, vision, and mission. We drive initiatives to build a high-performance culture, establish engagement and inclusion as a way of doing business, and live our Bank's values. We have made great progress and will continue to make strides as each of us embraces this approach every day.
Lead from where you are looks different for everyone; it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. We are all encouraged to bring our best thinking to work every day and to pursue opportunities that will support individual development while helping us achieve the Bank’s vision.
Lead from where you are is something everyone can do. We are talented and driven individuals with diverse experiences and skills. We demonstrate our commitment to the Bank by contributing purposefully on a daily basis.
Lead from where you are how we work together, regardless of level, tenure, or position.
The Bank’s education and outreach efforts support economic self-empowerment and a better understanding of the Federal Reserve through targeted outreach and programming that emphasizes college and career readiness, personal finance, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), financial literacy, and economics. Through collaborations with community, nonprofit, civic, education, and business organizations, the Bank has created a strong network of partners that have enabled the expansion of regional engagement.
At the Cleveland Fed, we offer a variety of educational student programs, at no cost across our region, with a particular focus on reaching those students from majority-minority and all-girls schools and those in low- to moderate-income (LMI), underserved, and urban and rural communities. Find more information about our student programming here.
Across the Federal Reserve system, all of our publications, interactive resources, lesson plans and multimedia content are available at no charge through our centralized repository FederalReserveEducation.org. The Bank also offers a variety of resources for students of all ages in both English and Spanish. Learn how to access these resources here.
Culture. It’s the way organizations get things done. At the Cleveland Fed, our culture of inclusion is apparent in all we do. It’s one of our core values, demonstrated in when and how we collaborate across our organization to achieve better outcomes, how we communicate with others to gain input and garner support, and how we generate ideas to advance our mission. Through our work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and opportunity, we focus on inclusion internally and externally. Organizations that have a diverse workforce are more effective, not only here at the nation’s central bank, but also across various industries and sectors of the economy.
The diversity of our workforce and equity in our policies and practices are foundational to our culture of inclusion and to providing opportunity for all. Yes, there is also aspiration in our work—an important component to organizational success. We continually strive for greater, positive impact in our service to the public and the communities in which we work and live.
A strong regional economy makes space for the full participation of minority-owned, women-owned, and small businesses to provide products and services to corporations and organizations across the region and the nation. The Cleveland Fed is committed to providing opportunities for these businesses to partner with the Bank on our projects. In support of this effort, we invite suppliers to meet with Bank representatives, and we attend matchmaker events that offer small-business owners the opportunity to meet with our procurement specialists. During the pandemic, when meeting in person is ill-advised, this work has continued through our attending virtual events. To increase our efforts and our impact, we also call on the Bank’s larger suppliers and contractors to include minority- and women-owned and small businesses in their subcontracting arrangements when partnering with the Bank on projects. Beyond the Bank, too, we recognize that large corporations may need to review how to increase supplier diversity in their business inclusion opportunities and ensure equitable practices are in place and reviewed periodically.