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The Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina's mission is to promote and protect community wealth. We advocate for change in the lending practices of financial institutions to promote wealth building for underserved communities and to end predatory lending practices that strip wealth. Committed to creative advocacy, CRA-NC uses research, education, mobilization, media, litigation, regulatory challenges, legislative advocacy and stockholder actions to initiate change.
Our primary activity is advocacy for social change and economic justice and protecting consumers from predatory lending. Payday lending is an abusive, predatory lending product that captures a majority of borrowers in a debt trap, costing them 500% interest on short term consumer loans. CRA-NC is in its third year of being in the vanguard of the state and national fight to end this practice. Our tactics have included research and policy analysis, street theatre, shareholder resolutions, grassroots mobilization, consumer education, media advocacy, and building citizen coalitions. Our goal is for the issue of payday lending in North Carolina to be resolved favorably in consumers interests, and to use the ongoing struggle against payday loans to empower the community by highlighting broader issues of financial literacy and economic justice. Our current top policy initiative is conducting corporate advocacy against banks funding payday lending. In the past few months, we have staged actions and waged press campaigns around our shareholder resolutions calling on Republic Bancorp and Wells Fargo to end their payday lending activities. We have conducted five shareholder actions in the past year with SunTrust, CCB, ACE Cash Express, Republic Bancorp, and Wells Fargo. We developed a partnership with the Duke Community Enterprise Law Clinic to conduct legal work in this area and partnerships at the national level with other progressive advocates. We are working in partnership with African-American churches to help them become shareholder advocates. To educate and mobilize consumers, CRA-NC produces progressive television and radio programming that has state and national distribution. Nuestro Barrio is now in production as a mini-series about Hispanic life in the United States. The show uses the popular telenovela or soap opera format to address financial literacy and human relations issues. It will have national distribution through broadcast television and DVDs. We are developing an innovative radio show that uses advocacy to build community engagement on problems and issues facing the African-American community in North Carolina.
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