AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 11, 2003--At the National
Council of La Raza (NCLR) annual conference, Washington Mutual
(NYSE:WM) will announce $1 million in financial support for NCLR's
ongoing efforts to increase homeownership opportunities for Latinos
nationwide. Specifically, Washington Mutual's funding will support
NCLR's Empowering An American Community Campaign as well as help
expand its homebuyer education program to reach 40,000 Latino
families, with a goal of turning 7,000 of them into homeowners over
the next year -- doubling the current levels that NCLR serves.
Despite the rapid growth in Latino homeownership (48.1%) in recent
years, the rate continues to lag behind the nation's overall rate
(68.1%) and increasing Latino homeownership is top priority for NCLR.
"Even though Latinos now represent the largest U.S. minority group,
they remain one of the most under-tapped markets for homeownership,"
said Raul Yzaguirre, president of the National Council of La Raza.
"With Washington Mutual's support, we'll be able to significantly step
up our efforts to educate Latinos -- in both English and Spanish -- on
what it takes to become a homeowner."
"We believe that everyone should have a place to call home and
we're committed to increasing homeownership rates among the Latino
community," said Kerry Killinger, Washington Mutual's chairman,
president and CEO. "Our partnership with NCLR reflects our ongoing
commitment to helping Latinos build wealth and achieve their financial
A long time supporter of NCLR and its affiliates, Washington
Mutual's contribution brings NCLR within $5 million of reaching its
campaign goal of $30 million. The Empowering America's Communities
Campaign will provide funding to expand NCLR's advocacy and education
efforts as well as financial support toward a new headquarters
building and first ever Latino civil rights museum.
More than 16 percent of Washington Mutual's employees are Latino
and earlier this year the company was again named to Hispanic
Magazine's "Corporate 100: Best Places to Work for Latinos" for the
second year in a row, and was ranked second on Hispanic Business
magazine's list of the "corporate elite" with Hispanic employees at
executive and management levels.
WaMu is committed to diversity and makes it an integral part of
its business -- from its intern and management training programs, to
the company's $375 billion lending and investment commitment which
will help more low- to moderate-income and minority borrowers become
homeowners. Washington Mutual strives to build and maintain a diverse
employee base, to offer broad geographic availability and to offer
products that enable access to financial services for everyone.
About the National Council of La Raza
The National Council of La Raza is a private, nonprofit,
nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization established in 1968 to reduce
poverty and discrimination, and improve life opportunities for
Hispanic Americans. NCLR is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with
field offices in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, San Antonio and San
Juan, Puerto Rico.
About Washington Mutual
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a
retailer of consumer financial services that provides a diversified
line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized
businesses. At March 31, 2003, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries
had assets of $276.97 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates
more than 2,500 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial
banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout
the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at
CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Alfredo Padilla, 213/217-4093
firstname.lastname@example.org Laura Jones, 206/377-2153
SOURCE: Washington Mutual