Martin D. Eakes



Mr. Eakes co-founded Self-Help, a community development lender and credit union, in 1980. Self-Help has provided $12.5 billion in financing to over 180,000 families, individuals, and organizations. We serve more than 190,000 credit union members through almost 60 branches. Self-Help reaches people who are underserved by conventional financial institutions—particularly people of color, women, rural residents, and low-wealth families. Self-Help operates in nine states. Mr. Eakes holds a law degree from Yale, a Master's from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton, and a BA from Davidson College.

He has been honored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as a MacArthur Fellow, by the Opportunity Finance Network, the Ford Foundation, AARP, Princeton and Duke Universities, Davidson College, National Credit Union Foundation, NC NAACP, and the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights. Martin currently serves on the Bank of America National Community Advisory Council, Institute for Minority Economic Development, FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, and the Bennett College Re-engineering Committee.

In 1998, Eakes helped form the Coalition for Responsible Lending, a group of 120 CEOs from financial institutions and organizations representing three million North Carolina citizens, to oppose predatory lending practices in NC and nationally. The Coalition’s work resulted in the nation’s first anti-predatory mortgage lending law being enacted in the state of North Carolina in 1999. This work also led to the creation of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), a Self-Help affiliate dedicated to protecting home ownership and family wealth. With staff in North Carolina, Washington, D.C. and Oakland, CA, CRL has helped American families save more than four billion dollars annually.

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