Thunder and Enlightening | OneUnited Bank

Thunder and Enlightening Mural | OneUnited Bank

In July 2015, or two years ago, OneUnited Bank unveiled the revolutionary 550 square foot mural Thunder & Enlightening on the façade of our historic Miami branch. The emotionally charged work of art by internationally celebrated, Miami based muralist Addonis Parker, illustrates the events and issues facing the Black community including racism, bigotry, violence, protest, the massacre in South Carolina, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and first responders.

As the largest Black owned bank in America, OneUnited Bank undertook this historic and, quite frankly, risky project to bridge the divide between the banking industry and the Black community. We hoped that illustrating the realities of urban communities on a federally insured institution would open minds to the potential for banks and the Black community to work together in new and different ways. The “seed” planted by the mural has bloomed into a national movement – the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack movement.

The Black community is not only moving their money to Black owned banks, but also “moving their minds” to better support Black owned businesses. For example, many senior citizens have walked into our branches and stated it was the first time they had ever been in a bank. Previously, they did not feel welcomed. Many customers have stated that for the first time in their lives, they are excited about banking. The conversations on social media have included financial literacy and discussions that directly confront the discredited adage that “their ice is colder” or the incorrect belief that Black businesses are inherently “less than.” The Black community is now focused on collective economics and community wealth building in unprecedented ways. They are taking the BankBlack Challenge! In 2017, the BankBlack Movement is stronger than ever with over $50 million in deposits moved to Black owned banks in just 12 months.

OneUnited Bank is also evolving. We launched an online second chance checking program for people with ChexSystems records, which is one of our most popular services. We expanded our Contact Center and social media teams, upgraded vendors and increased our staff by 10% to better serve our customers. We expanded our annual “I Got Bank” financial literacy contest for youth to include essays and art and increased the selection of winners from 3 to 10. We also expanded our loan capacity through our secured credit card program, to help rebuild credit, and through home loans to expand homeownership with partnerships with first time homebuyers programs in Boston, Miami and Los Angeles. We also developed our partnerships with BankBlack USA, BMe Community, the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), BLACKOUT Coalition and others to support the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack movement and support financial literacy.

We know that this is more than a moment, it’s a movement! Let’s take this journey together.

To learn more about the mural, Thunder & Enlightening, and the 2015 OneUnited Mural Project, an apprenticeship-based program, in partnership with Miami Children’s Initiative, using public art works, youth development and a community beautification program providing arts enrichment through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education, click here.

OneUnited Bank

Our community’s dream is now a reality! OneUnited Bank is fulfilling the hundred year old civil rights dream by garnering the savings power of our communities and channeling it back into urban communities for economic development. With your support by simply opening an FDIC insured account with great rates, we will continue to accomplish this dream everyday!

16 Comments
  • Isaac Bey
    Is there plans to open a branch in Atlanta Georgia?What is the process for opening a trust account?Thank You, Isaac
    July 14, 2017 Reply
      • celeste
        This is interesting. I have personal and savings, but I also need a business account. It has been brought to my attention that you have to be present at an institute in order to open this type of account. This does not help the small businesses really wanting to do business with one united. When will online availability come to fruition?
        August 11, 2017 Reply
  • Louis Woodard Jr
    I Am (THRILL) We Have Our Own (BANK'S) And Can't Wait Til A (Brance) Come's To 'Chicago' And Remeber (BlackPower) Is The (Greatest Power) #UnitedWeStand#
    July 21, 2017 Reply
  • Oliver F Crowther Jr
    Great job I want to do my part by opening a account to help the Dream.
    July 21, 2017 Reply
  • Marie Firmin
    I am with you and I would love to join a brainstorming session to present other ideas for getting the unbanked banked at One United!
    July 21, 2017 Reply
  • Marie Firmin
    I am with the efforts of One United!
    July 21, 2017 Reply
  • matthew bradley
    love my black bank,the workers are family, they lovingly take care of our needs for our black cultures.
    July 23, 2017 Reply
  • nikita williams
    This is gorgeous, maybe this could be part of the images on our debit cards one day.
    July 24, 2017 Reply
  • India
    It would be awesome if all of the black banks across the country could form a coalition network together to help strengthen the black dollar.
    August 11, 2017 Reply
  • Kirk Ststen
    How does a person open an account online when they require a deposit from a traditional, transactional bank account? This makes no sense to me being that you only have a few brick and mortar branches. As a person who does not have a bank account, but desires to join the #bankblack movement, you all seem to make it just as difficult as white owned/controlled banks. I know plenty of other Black men similarly situated. For example, I/we would like to get an online account, but it using PayPal to put money in the account is not allowed. Does your organization have any suggestions or plans to address such an issue?
    August 11, 2017 Reply
  • DR G LANDRY
    I am a proud senior member of One United Bank Los Angeles. I am continuing to spread the word to younger people to BANK BLACK. Make your way to Crenshaw Blvd and open your account. NOW!
    August 11, 2017 Reply
  • Onyango Okelo
    As an online/internet bank do you have debit card atm fee refunds for members transactions?
    August 11, 2017 Reply
  • Griffin
    I would love to join but I'm not sure if there's a Bank in my area, which is either Warner Robins or Macon, GA
    August 13, 2017 Reply

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