Black-owned Unity Bank of Houston partners with leading global bank

HOUSTON – Unity National Bank of Houston NA (“Unity”), the only African American owned bank in Texas and one of only two African American owned banking institutions with a National Chartered Banking License, announced an on-going knowledge exchange partnership with Citi under the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Agent Mentor Protégé Program. Through this program, Unity will engage in collaboration and enterprise training sessions led by Citi, the third largest U.S. bank by assets with approximately 200 million customer accounts, serving clients in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions.

Launched in 2018, the Financial Agent Mentor-Protégé Program pairs designated Financial Agents, such as Citi, with smaller financial institutions, including minority and women-owned banks, to increase the number of qualified Financial Agents. This designation allows community and regional banks to perform financial services on behalf of Treasury and its financial management arm, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

“A collaborative relationship with Citi will assist Unity in moving community banking into the 21st century, enhance and grow its business, and in turn support economic development and access to capital in the communities that Unity serves,” said Laurie A. Vignaud, President and CEO of Unity.

To date, Unity has engaged with Citi in knowledge transfer sessions specific not only to becoming a Financial Agent, but also centered on growth acceleration, technology enhancements and capital and risk management. One of the specific areas of focus, beyond the pathway to becoming a Financial Agent Bank of Treasury, is to enrich the retail client experience for existing and prospective customers. Unity also aims to better serve the communities in which they operate and views participation in this program as a stepping-stone to undertaking larger transactions, bolstering their balance sheet and better assisting local entrepreneurs.

“We look forward to deepening our participation in the Mentor-Protégé Program by partnering with Unity National Bank,” said Harold Butler, Managing Director and Head of Citi’s Financial Agent Mentor Protégé Program at Citi. “Effecting change and increasing access to resources in the minority-banking sector underpins Citi’s commitment to increase equity and inclusivity in the financial industry.”

Unity’s partnership with Citi is critical to the Houston-based bank’s ambitions to grow at scale and increase its presence into underserved communities throughout Texas and Georgia, where Unity has recently expanded operations providing customers a full product suite of financial offerings.

Roy Douglas Malonson, publisher of African-American News&Issues, says this all sounds great, but he has one question vital for the community.

“Citibank is going to get a lot of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit for joining with the black bank,” he said, “But what have they really done thus far to put the money into the black community?”

We should always WATCH before we are quick to APPLAUD. We’ll see if the bank will truly put its money where the black mouths are.

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top