Black History Month
History. Tradition. Community.
February is Black History Month.
Since 1926, and the creation of Negro History Week by Carter G. Woodson, the accomplishments of persons of African descent have been recognized each February. The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights is proud to present Future History Makers, a profile series featuring emerging leaders from the Twin Cities African American community who share our ideals of advancing civil rights and removing barriers to equity.
Honoring The Legacy
Dorothy Bridges is the only African-American woman to head a Minnesota bank and one of a few nationwide. Bridges has over 30 years of banking experience, beginning her career in 1979. In July 2011, she became the senior vice president responsible for community development, outreach, and public affairs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Prior to that, she was president and CEO of City First Bank in Washington, D.C. She served in the same role at Franklin National Bank in Minneapolis from 1999 to 2008. Bridges has experience in analyzing credit risk for loan portfolios, purchasing loan pools from non-profits and government agencies, and working with financial institutions on bank regulatory compliance-specifically in the areas of fair lending and the Community Reinvestment Act.
Bridges is known for her community work in Washington and in Minneapolis. In 2009, the Washington Business Journal reported her as one of Ten People to Watch, noted for her work as an advocate for the poorest neighborhoods. In Minnesota, Bridges served as a Governor Jesse Ventura’s Selection Committee Chairperson for the Minnesota Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and a member of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s Transition Team and Affordable Housing Work Group. In 2000, Bridges received the Women of Achievement Award from the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce and was recognized as one of the most influential women in business and finance by local business publications. In 2002, Finance and Commerce named her one of the Top Women in Finance.
Celebrating The Future
Today’s Future History Maker understands the commitment and dedication of Ms. Bridges. She also is dedicated to leading and empowering community. She is Nneka Morgan.
Nneka Morgan is an investment professional who brings to her clients more than ten years of demonstrated experience with some of the country’s most prestigious financial services firms. Morgan currently works at Merrill Lynch. Since joining the firm in 2008, Morgan has developed strategies using varied investment vehicles to assist clients with better managing and enhancing their wealth. Her portfolio includes advisement to institutions, nonprofit organizations, and small to medium size businesses, high-net-worth individuals, and senior executives.
Morgan understands her ability to reach back and pull forward in every step of her journey. She is an active leader within the community and uses her knowledge and influence to advance racial equality. She is an Appointed Commissioner with the St. Paul Port Authority, a Trustee for Hamline University and sits on the board of directors for Regions Hospital and for Capital City Properties.
Morgan uses her knowledge and experience to empower community and promote healthy financial habits. She is the host of Financial Fitness, a program on KMOJ-FM radio focused on financial health. On her show, Morgan stresses the importance of financial literacy. She is deeply committed to lending her expertise to community organizations and individuals in need of financial literacy. Each year, Morgan hosts several community forums focused on the importance accumulating wealth and saving.
Morgan graduated cum laude from Howard University, with a B.A. in International Business and Finance. Morgan also received additional education in Japanese at Richmond College in Shizuoka, Japan and Middlebury College. In 2007, she was named one of Ebony Magazine’s “30 Young Leaders Under 30″. In 2008, Morgan served as a Marshall Memorial Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States. In her spare time, she serves as Financial Literacy Engagement Director for the Center of Communications & Development and performs with the Grammy Award Winning group “Sounds of Blackness.” Morgan has quickly emerged as both a well respected and immensely powerful voice for the Twin Cities African American community.
Most Rewarding Work Experience
I’ve been afforded the opportunity to serve as a commissioner with the St. Paul Port Authority, Trustee for Hamline University, and a member of the Regions Hospital board of directors. In these positions, I use my influence to help some of the state’s largest employers address the issues of jobs, education, and healthcare and draw attention to the disparities and needs of the community I love. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my community, and I’m committed to ensuring it receives a return on its investment.
Advice for Aspiring Finance Professionals
Remember you’re running your own marathon, don’t get distracted with anyone else’s time but your own. Your path is uniquely carved by you, run it with confidence and try not to get too distracted by bystanders.
Beacons of Leadership
I am inspired by people of purpose that have carved their own path and those who have overcome obstacles along the way. These people of purpose include; Cynthia Johnson, Tene Morgan, Shimeca Saffold, Tetra Constantino, Cindy Kent, Carla Harris and Phyllis Goff. It certainly takes a village, and there is a long list of people that have poured directly into me, but there is an even longer list of those that do it by example. I’m grateful for all the sheroes and heroes that have taken residence in my village.
- St. Paul
- Richmond College – Shizuoka Japan, 2001
- Howard University B.A, 2003