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Efforts are under way in Minnesota to correct some of the racist policies that give the area a bad reputation for people of color to live. One organization that is about to be certified in the state is Village Financial, designed to stop predatory lending and support Black businesses, reports the Star Tribune.

Village Financial, whose creation was spurred on by the police killing of Philando Castro in 2016, seeks to financially support Black residents in north Minneapolis by providing an alternative to payday loan companies and check-cashing services. The contingent approval by the state means the cooperative’s application moves to the National Credit Union Administration, which will decide whether to grant it insurance on its deposits, said Me’Lea Connelly, who heads vision and strategy for Village Financial.

Connelly called it a “milestone” that has put the group on its track to open by June 19, 2019, or Juneteenth, a date that recognizes emancipation of Black slaves. “It just confirms the vision that the community had, that they had their finger on the pulse of what really needs to happen to move the dial on economic racial inequities in our state,” she said. More than 1,600 people – mostly Black residents and mostly from north Minneapolis – have pledged to join the cooperative, totaling $4.2 million in deposits. The co-op also received initial financial support from Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey allocated $500,000 for the credit union in next year’s budget.