In an unprecedented move, OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S., has unveiled the “Take A Knee” campaign with a stunning masterpiece, “Last Man Standing,” by internationally acclaimed artist Addonis Parker. The protest art evokes the importance and burden of activism in America, featuring three football players kneeling during the national anthem.
The campaign gives credence to the national #TakeAKnee movement started by Colin Kaepernick and followed by over 180 football players including Eric Reid and Kenny Stills — one in which they refused to stand during the national anthem, instead taking a knee in silent protest of police shootings of unarmed Blacks, also calling for criminal justice reform.
OneUnited Bank, following the unveiling and announcing their formal support of the #TakeAKnee campaign, has taken the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack Movement to the next level. The bank will make a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the BMe Community (honoring Genius Fellow Leon Ford who survived an incident of police brutality).
For each new customer who opens a checking account between the initiative’s kickoff on Oct. 25 through Dec. 31, the bank will make a donation to the aforementioned charities. In addition, the bank will invite all OneUnited Bank customers to become an ACLU member of the ACLU and donate to the BMe Community.
“Throughout history, art has been used to raise awareness about social issues and affect positive change. We are honored to unveil ‘Last Man Standing’ and support the ACLU and BMe Community as we continue to support the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack Movement and advocate for social justice,” said Teri Williams, president and COO of OneUnited Bank.
OneUnited Bank will make a $25,000 minimum contribution to each organization.
For information on participating in the Take a Knee campaign, go to www.oneunited.com/takeaknee.
OneUnited Bank (www.oneunited.com) is a 10-time recipient of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bank Enterprise Award due to its community development lending. Its mission is to be the premier bank serving urban communities by promoting financial literacy and offering affordable financial services.
The ACLU (www.aclu.org) is the nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the U.S. since its founding in 1920. The ACLU fights to end mass incarceration, obtain voting rights for returning citizens and reform the criminal justice system and other social justice issues.
BMe Community (www.BMecommunity.org) is a network of innovators, leaders and champions who invest in aspiring communities. Headquartered in Miami, BMe has satellites in Akron, Baltimore, Detroit, Louisville, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Its four-part model includes Asset Framing, Genius Fellows, Community Builders and Story Sharing available to its 40,000 subscribers.