William J. (Bill) Bynum Named Recipient of 2022 John W. Gardner Leadership Award | New

Washington, Aug. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — William J. (Bill) Bynum has been named the 2022 recipient of the Independent Sector’s John W. Gardner Leadership Award. Bynum will receive the prestigious award in recognition of his extraordinary leadership as President and CEO of the HOPE family of organizations, which strengthen communities, build assets and improve lives in economically challenged regions of the Deep South by providing access to high quality financial products. and services.

HOPE includes Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Institute. Together they provide financial services, leverage private and public resources, engage in advocacy and otherwise act as a catalyst to realize HOPE’s vision of mitigating the extent to which factors such as race, gender and wealth limit a person’s ability to support themselves. , or their families and contribute to communities.

Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $3.6 billion in funding that has benefited more than 2 million people in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, while shaping policies and practices that have improved conditions in opportunity-starved communities nationwide.

“At times when civil society seemed most fragile, John Gardner showed us the power of a united voice rooted in wisdom, integrity and courage. These traits were and continue to be of vital importance on issues of race, poverty and equity,” Bynum said. “I am humbled and honored to be associated with his legacy and so many inspiring past winners.”

William J. (Bill) Bynum was born in New York, moving from East Harlem to his parents’ birthplace in North Carolina when he was 5 years old. He attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, starting with a major in journalism, then moving on to psychology and political science, earning a double major. Bynum, who chaired the university’s Black Student Movement, considered attending law school. He was accepted to law school at the University of North Carolina, but began working for a labor organization, which fueled his interest in employment and labor rights.

Bynum began his professional career in North Carolina helping to establish Self-Help, a pioneer in the development finance industry, and later established nationally recognized programs at the NC Rural Economic Development Center. In 1994 he moved to Mississippi to become founding CEO of Enterprise Corporation of the Delta and in 1995 organized the Hope Community Credit Union.

Independent Sector has awarded the John W. Gardner Leadership Award annually since 1985 to visionaries who exemplify the leadership and ideals of John W. Gardner (1912-2002), American statesman, educator, author, and founder of ISIS . The award honors extraordinary social sector champions whose collective work has transformed the nonprofit community and mobilized and unified people, institutions, or causes to support the ability of all people in the United States to thrive.

“Bill Bynum’s longstanding work to make a real difference in the lives of families and communities in the Deep South exemplifies the transformative level of work that characterizes our John W. Gardner Award winners,” said Daniel J. Cardinali. , CEO and President of the Independent Sector. “Through his work as CEO and Founder of Hope Enterprise Corporation, Bill brings bold ideas and strategies to create more equitable and accessible banking services for people victimized by payday loans and alternative financial services. Under his leadership, we see how important it is to combine practical solutions with long-term policy change.

“As our nation struggles to find a way to bridge racial, economic and ideological divides and safeguard democracy, I had the honor of leading a process that brought together leaders from across the country to assess what was necessary to inspire our sector and honor a leader who exemplifies the highest values ​​and contributions to a healthy and equitable society,” said Sonya Campion, SI Board Member, Committee Chair 2022 Gardner Leadership Award nominee and Chair of the SI Fellow Campion Advocacy Fund “I sincerely hope that Bill’s work to build a new system to include those excluded from the banking system, especially people from color and moderate-income families, will inspire emerging and current leaders and advocates in the sector to pursue systems-changing initiatives to truly address the most challenging challenges. s difficult of our country.

Bynum serves on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – New Orleans Branch, Aspen Institute, NAACP Legal & Education Defense Fund, Prosperity Now, Black Vision Fund, Mississippi Today, Churchill Capital IV and V, and as an advisor to Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and E Pluribus Unum.

A recipient of the Heinz Award, McNulty Award, and Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Carolina, Bynum previously chaired the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Consumer Advisory Board, Treasury Department Community Development Advisory Board, served as a team member Biden-Harris presidential transition. , and the American Partnership on Mobility from Poverty. Bynum is Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the University of Michigan’s Gerald Ford School of Public Policy and an alumnus of the Henry Crown Fellowship, Emerson Collective Dial Fellowship, and Salzburg Global Fellowship.

Bynum will officially accept the Gardner Award and speak about his work at the Upswell Summit on November 15. Independent Sector brings together changemakers at the Upswell Summit each year to make sense of progress and take stock of the sector’s potential to pursue a healthier and more equitable society where everyone can thrive. Learn more at upswell.org/summit.


Independent sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers in nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs to ensure that everyone in the United States thrives. Learn more at independentsector.org.

HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Institute) provides financial services, aggregates resources and engages in advocacy to mitigate the extent to which factors such as race, gender, place of birth and wealth limit its ability to prosper. Learn more at www.hopecu.org.

Bradley Wong Independent Sector 202-467-6122 [email protected]

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