NCN’s CEO Pete Upton, participated in the 2023 Freedman’s Bank Forum, hosted at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The event underscored the urgency of addressing economic disparities and fostering inclusivity across the nation. The forum featured a dynamic array of sessions, comprising enlightening video messages and invigorating panel discussions.

Amid the robust discussions that focused on addressing the needs of underserved communities and bolstering economic support, Upton voiced a sense of concern, emphasizing the limited mention of Native American communities. While the forum rightly emphasized initiatives for supporting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities, Upton’s heartfelt concern shed light on the crucial need for comprehensive strategies that encompass the unique challenges faced by all marginalized groups, including Native Americans.

In conjunction with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s annual Freedman Bank Forum, the Economic Opportunity Coalition (EOC), comprised of nearly 30 private sector companies and foundations dedicated to making historic investments in underserved communities, announced a momentous commitment. They pledged to secure $3 billion in deposits for community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs), celebrated for their successful outreach to low-income, rural, and other underserved communities.


Pete Upton greets Janice Bowdler, U.S. Department of Treasury’s Counselor to the Secretary (Racial Equity), attends United States Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen’s session, and joins Cheri Smith, CEO for Alliance for Tribal Clean Energy.