Bank On WA Forum 2023 Action Squads!

Participants will have the opportunity to select one of 5 areas of focus and will join an Action Squad learning group to process and discuss the content together during the 2-day event. The focus areas are youth, immigrants & refugees, justice-involved individuals, microenterprise, and black homeownership initiative. We are leaning into creating even more space for networking and interaction, balancing content provided from the front of the room and expertise shared from the whole community. And we are excited to offer the opportunity to dive deeper into what financial inclusion and financial belonging means in the context of work in each of these areas:


Youth Financial Belonging:

  • Miladys Garcia, Financial Education Public Private Partnership
  • Monika Matthews, Life Enrichment Group
  • Minda Michelle Mattox, WSECU
  • Moderated by John McKenney, WA Office of the Treasurer and Clinton Taylor, Your Money Matters Mentoring

 For providers working with youth, this panel will discuss the barriers to financial health often faced by young people along with resources available from financial institutions and community-based organizations. We encourage attendees to look at how current programs intersect with young people and what it takes for young people to belong. 

By the end of this session, attendees will:

  • Understand common barriers faced by BIPOC youth to equitably access financial resources and tools.
  • Identify methods for BIPOC youth to safeguard their financial wellbeing, existing resources for youth, and how to refer them effectively 
  • Explore partnership opportunities to better support youth financial wellbeing

Prereading: Ahead of the forum we would love for you to take some time to review this article from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: Fostering Youth Transitions 2023: State and National Data to Drive Foster Care Advocacy


 Black Homeownership Initiative

  • Marty Koistra, Civic Commons, Black Homeownership Initiative
  • Moussa Samb, HomeSight
  • Ali Sheibani, Habitat for Humanity Seattle, King, and Klickitat County
  • Darius Toston, Chase
  • Moderated by Tierra Bonds, Take Charge Credit Consulting

Join subject matter experts to learn about barriers to homeownership faced by Black families in Washington along with resources available to help overcome those barriers and become mortgage ready. We encourage attendees to consider what it looks like for a potential homeowner to belong in the home buying process.

By the end of this session, attendees will:

  • Know about initiatives across Washington focused on Black homeownership
  • Identify organizations increasing the supply of affordable homes
  • Identify barriers to becoming mortgage-ready for Black families
  • Explore how to engage in similar work in their service area

Prereading: Please take a look at the four homebuyer stories here. There will be a discussion of them during the session on Monday. You can also review information about the Black Homeownership Initiative and the discussion guide we will use at the forum.




  • Jenefeness Franke, Fiscal Finess
  • Joe Sky-Tucker, Business Impact NW
  • Matt Hrdlicka, Umpqua Bank
  • Moderated by Erwin Reeves, FDIC

Starting a business can be an enormous undertaking. This panel of experts will speak to the benefits and challenges of entrepreneurship; growing from solopreneur to microentrepreneur and beyond. We encourage attendees to consider how we currently support people with dreams of owning their own business and what it takes to belong in that process.

By the end of this session, attendees will:

  • Identify common barriers to starting or growing a business
  • Understand traditional credit underwriting and alternative practices & sources of capital
  • Recognize the benefits of getting connected to the right network & partners, and understand how to help entrepreneurs to do so

Pre-Reading: Ahead of the forum we would love for you to take some time to review the new report issued by the 12 Federal Reserve Banks: The 2023 Report on Startup Firms Owned by People of Color: Findings from the 2022 Small Business Credit Survey. 



Immigrants & Refugees

  • Mary Vargas, Tacoma Community House
  • Risho Sapano, Mother Africa
  • Elizabeth Escobar, Express Credit Union
  • Moderated by Cristina Serra, WaFd Bank

Join this panel of subject matter experts as they discuss common barriers to financial systems faced by immigrants and refugees and ways that community-based organizations and financial institutions can partner to overcome those barriers. 

By the end of this session, attendees will:

  • Understand systemic barriers to financial services & products faced by immigrants & refugees
  • Identify potential strategies to increase financial inclusion for immigrants & refugees
  • Identify avenues of collaboration between Community-Based Orgs and Financial Institutions in serving immigrants & refugees

Pre-Reading: Ahead of the forum we would love for you to take some time to review the FEN workshop from earlier this year, "Increasing the Financial Wellbeing of Immigrant & Refugee Communities:"



Justice-involved individuals

  • Anthony Blankenship, Civil Survival
  • Anthony Powers, Seattle Clemency Project
  • Masukur Rahman, 1st Security Bank
  • Moderated by Becky House, American Financial Solutions & Derek Lane, Lane Consulting

Hear from advocates for people who have been incarcerated about the barriers to financial stability and wellbeing that exist along the pathway to reentry. We’ll also learn about promising practices happening now, and discuss what else is needed to foster financial belonging.

By the end of this session, attendees will

  • Understand the barriers faced by people who have been Justice-involved
  • Learn about current resources for people who have been Justice-Involved
  • Connect with colleagues to discuss intersections with their work.