By Raphael Bostic
Black men are breaking barriers everywhere these days in their respective fields. Chief Executive Officer and President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Raphael Bostic is no different. As the first African American and openly gay president of a federal reserve bank, Bostic has now become the first openly gay man to lead a federal regional bank. As the president, he is responsible for building a foundation for the direction of the organization and representing the institution before its constituencies such as banks, community agencies and the general public. He’s paving the way for black gay men everywhere in the financial industry and that of corporate America. In this day and age as open as society has come with gay marriage being legalized and diverse shows on television, the black gay community still has a long way to go. In corporate America, were facing the constant dilemma of when or even when not to disclose our sexual identity. For some there are fears of the quality of their work being overshadowed by our sexual identity? However, Bostic has showed us how our sexual identity is only a part of who we are like anything else and how it doesn’t capitalize the totality of our identity as a human being while he stands open about his sexual orientation to the masses.
Bostic has done this by showcasing himself as a man for the people. As a Ph.D. graduate from Stanford University and a serving on various advisory boards such as the Urban Land Institute and the American Real Estate to name just a few, he has utilized every platform that he has been on to create radical change. He’s done so by educating the masses of college students at the University of Southern California on public policy and development as a professor in the early 2000’s. He has also served as the assistant secretary for policy development and research at the U.S department of Housing and Urban development for three years under the Obama administration. He used his time in the administration to help people understand how to gain control of the economic situations and adversity they may face in a modern age. In a recent 2017 interview with the Bloomberg, Bostic wanted people to understand the reality of homeownership and how it should look for many. He stated in the interview, “We went through an awful housing crisis in the United States and in part that was because a lot of people got into homes they couldn’t afford over the longer term. So I am hopeful that, that reaction has caused people to be much more strategic and selective about when they get into homeownership and when they ultimately get there that it works for them over the longer run”
It’s great to see someone helping to put the power of the economy back into the hands of the people. Homeownership and ownership in general in this modern millennium is something many of us are striving for. In the long run, the future for Bostic only gets brighter from here on out. As of 2018, he will now become a voting member for the Federal Reserve Bank. What this means is that he will be able to be a part of the very change that affects the people and the way banks throughout the region operate alongside the very people that it serves. As a voting member he will also review economic and financial conditions and ultimately voting on the stances of the different monetary policies in place that affect many of us. These are the changes that may revolutionize and shape the financial and economic growth of our country everywhere.