Black Americans are turning to economic empowerment in response to a spate of highly publicized police killings.

Campaigners are urging people to invest in one of 318 black-owned financial institutions nationwide. Since appearing on social media in July, #BankBlack has spurred thousands to move their money. The Industrial Bank of Washington, for example, saw the number of new accounts opened over a two-month period leap from an average of 100 up to 3,000, with a total investment of $6 million.

OneUnited Bank, the largest black-owned bank in the US, has lent more than $1 billion to low and moderate-income communities since 1995. It says the result of banking black is ‘more jobs for the black community, more access to affordable home loans, [and] education on financial literacy.’

The campaign also wants to draw funds away from prejudiced institutions such as BancorpSouth, which was fined $10.6 million in June for discriminating against minorities in its lending practices.

Tom Lawson