O’Brien shares importance of mission-driven work at CUNA GAC

WASHINGTON, DC (March 3, 2021)

Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brian discussed storytelling in the current economic and political landscape today at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

Cornerstone Credit Union League President/CEO Caroline Willard moderated the discussion which centered around the need for doing mission-driven work. O’Brien spoke about her recent effort to engage with lawmakers to produce “solutions journalism” that highlights ways Congressional leaders are solving problems in the community.

“The framing of stories – left versus right – is frequently inaccurate,” O’Brien said. “We can have thoughtful discussions and educate people without the partisan divide.”

O’Brien spoke about how her award-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina taught her the importance of listening to members of the community. She connected this kind of mission-driven work to what credit unions do for their communities during times of need.

“The pandemic is both a health and economic crisis for many communities,” O’Brien noted in her discussion on underserved populations. “Anytime [credit unions] are funding organizations that help them get to the next step, they are keeping that sense of community together.”

When asked about her thoughts on the latest credit union industrywide discussion on financial well-being and how it fits into the context of America today, O’Brien said, “People are financially very worried, concerned and fearful.”

“A conversation about financial well-being is a conversation about honesty and helping someone in the macro,” O’Brien added. “It’s asking the question: How do we help you for the long haul?

Read more conference coverage fromCUNA News, and get live updates on Twitter via@CUNANews,@cumagazine,@CUNA, and by using the#CUNAGAChashtag. You can also follow the conference onFacebookandInstagram. For a complete schedule and information on keynote speakers and breakout sessions, visit theCUNA GAC event page.

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 135 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit


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