Catalyst News

Forum Speaker Princess Sarah Culberson: CU Parallels with Royalty

by Catalyst Corporate | Aug 01, 2022

The credit union industry continues to evolve, but the central mission remains the same. Credit unions, including Catalyst Corporate, work to benefit their members. They exemplify the philosophy of “people helping people” by committing to strengthen their local communities.

Princess Sarah Culberson, philanthropist, public speaker and author, has dedicated herPrincess Sarah Culberson life to humanitarian efforts and strengthening her community. She will be sharing her story as a featured presenter during Catalyst Corporate’s upcoming Economic & Payments Forum. Her presentation, Princess to Humanitarian: Using Your Position to Make a Difference, is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 11:15 a.m. Central Time.

Having grown up as an adopted daughter in a loving, white West Virginia family, Sarah underwent a journey of self-discovery where she reconnected with her biological family and made a life changing discovery: she was considered a Mahaloi, the granddaughter of an African Paramount Chief, with princess status.

Her responsibility as a member of the Mende family led her to become an impassioned role model who advocates for education, diversity and inclusion, women's empowerment, and the importance of finding your roots.

After traveling to Bumpe, Sierra Leone and seeing the aftermath of an 11-year blood diamond war, she co-founded Sierra Leone Rising, a non-profit that supports community. Schools had been burned to rubble, homes destroyed and many community members had been physically maimed by the conflict. The power associated with her African royalty came with great responsibility. Much like credit unions, Princess Sarah saw an opportunity to use her position to strengthen communities and help people of modest means.

Serving the underserved parallels the common goal for credit unions. To serve others requires “listening to learn, rather than listening to reply,” Princess Sarah says, and "being aware that you bring assumptions to the table that may or may not be true." It is important to ensure all voices at the table are heard when actively making a change.

Sierra Leone RisingThere are so many ways to make a difference, Princess Sarah says, “no matter how small the gesture." Princess Sarah's story, which will soon become a Disney movie, continues to benefit the communities she touches: rebuilt Bumpe High School, created Mask on Africa, installed solar lanterns, helped distribute clean drinking water and now working on a grant that will teach locals to code for blockchain.

To learn how to position yourself to make a difference, join us for Princess Sarah’s Forum session on Tuesday, September 20. Early Bird registration is available through August 9, so reserve your spot at the discounted rate today.