Bill Bynum

Bill Bynum
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William (Bill) J. Bynum is CEO of HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation/Hope Credit Union), a regional community development financial institution and policy center that ensures access to responsible financial services for underserved communities across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. He currently serves as Chairman of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board. Other board/trustee service includes Corporation for Enterprise Development, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Millsaps College, Mississippi Children’s Museum, and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.
Women looking at museum exhibit

The Cavalry Is Us: Civil Rights and Cooperative Action

In our nation’s most vulnerable places, every vulnerable person and those more fortunate who care about their well being, are best served when we come together to help ourselves.
people gathered under and around an information tent

Persistently Poor Regions Would Welcome a Little Gentrification

It is often said that you get what you pay for. Clearly, too little is being paid to create positive change in America’s most vulnerable places.
3 men mixing concrete

A Partner, Not an Expert

Over the course of three decades in the development finance industry, I have learned that engaging and empowering those who have the greatest stake in their communities is the best way to achieve meaningful and lasting change.

Entrenched Poverty, Juxtaposed Against Occasional Pockets of Progress

Recently, more than 150 people from across the nation rolled along the backroads of the iconic Mississippi Delta, peering through bus windows at scene after scene of entrenched poverty juxtaposed against occasional pockets of progress that had been achieved against seemingly insurmountable odds. While there were signs of advancement, they were set against the backdrop of conditions that disproportionately plague these places—substandard housing, underperforming schools, inadequate access to quality health care, and limited private and philanthropic investment. 

Tax Credits Play A Critical Role in Economic Development

In his recent speech to Congress, President Trump included this pledge: “Every American child should be able to grow...

CFPB: Government for the People

Those of us who work in regulated industries, such as banking institutions and credit unions, often succumb to the...

To Move or to Improve?

During a recent national housing conference, a senior HOPE colleague, along with an architect and the mayor of a...

How Does Mobile Banking Affect the Unbanked?

The absence of bank branches and the proliferation of high-priced alternative lenders in the region only underscore the importance of access to affordable financial services.

Fairness and The Financial System

Trying to bring fairness to financial transactions for everyday people has long been both an avocation and passion for...

Putting the Impact in Impact Investing

Impact investing is a popular idea that promises to channel the power of market capitalism into serving the common...

Let’s Transform the Zip Codes

One of America’s best writers, William Faulkner, in explaining why he always set his fiction in the South, said: “I discovered that my own...

A Response to ‘A New Gospel of Wealth,’ Part Two

In my last blog post, I responded to Ford Foundation president Darren Walker’s essay in which he outlines a new direction for the foundation ...

Response to Darren Walker’s New Gospel of Wealth

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker recently circulated a thought-provoking piece declaring the foundation’s commitment to tackling the worldwide problem of inequality. In the piece, Walker...

Why CDFIs Should Go To College

              During three decades of working to close the financial gaps that confront a disproportionate number of low-income, minority...

Braiding Resources, Place, and Opportunity

Creating economic opportunity for people who live in distressed communities is by necessity place-based, or if you prefer, place-conscious,...

The Swiss Army Knife of Community Development

Across America—in inner city neighborhoods and rural towns alike—the level of economic and social distress is rising. Although these...

Carrots, Sticks, and Economic Justice

Once upon a time, I saw the problem of providing responsible financial services as purely a policy problem. We...

CDFIs: Bridging the Poverty Gap

Each year, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday prompts people to reflect on Dr. King’s life and legacy. By achieving passage of civil rights and voting rights legislation, the actions of King and others compelled a sharp decline in the blatant discrimination and wanton violence that had permeated the nation for generations. However, today, five […]

Attitude Reflects Leadership

Recently I was honored to receive the Ned Gramlich Award for Responsible Finance during the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) Conference in Denver. To be recognized by the national association of investors dedicated to aligning capital with justice was a humbling experience—one made more so by the courageous legacy of the late Federal Reserve Bank Governor […]