Over the last year, our country has faced many significant challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and other acts of violence and racism. As a result, our nation has started a critical and long overdue conversation around race and equity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created economic and financial insecurity for millions of Americans. Communities of color have disproportionately borne the impact both in terms of health and the resulting financial crises. For example, women- and minority-owned small businesses faced more severe economic consequences than their White counterparts, and Black and Hispanic homeowners were less likely to receive mortgage relief and forbearance. Across all racial and ethnic groups, including White Americans, economically vulnerable consumers, face challenges in accessing the help they need now.
As Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, my top priorities are to take bold and swift action to address issues of pervasive racial injustice and the long-term economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumers. Growing opportunities for those who have historically been denied them increases opportunity for everyone.
Congress established the CFPB in the wake of the Great Recession, to ensure our financial system works for all consumers. It is my intent that the CFPB use all of our tools and authorities to protect and fight for fairness and equity.