Emerging from the desire of local Mennonite communities to put their faith in action, Kindred Credit Union and Conrad Grebel University College have many shared connections in their history. For example, J. Winfield Fretz was Grebel's founding president as well as a founding board member of the credit union.
On November 10, 2011, Grebel and Kindred (then still known as Mennonite Savings and Credit Union) announced an ambitious new partnership to create the Centre for Peace Advancement.
The Credit Union’s $1 million dollar transformative gift was subsequently matched by additional donations totaling $500,000, and created the opportunity to add an entire fourth floor as part of Grebel’s Next Chapter campaign. Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement celebrated its official opening in September of 2014.
Kindred Credit Union is a member-owned financial co-operative based in Kitchener, Ontario with eight branches across southwestern Ontario ranging from Leamington to Mount Forest. Kindred's purpose is to provide cooperative banking that connects values and faith with finances, inspiring peaceful, just, and prosperous communities. Examples of their leadership in the financial sector include:
- Becoming a certified B-corporation
- Supporting the Ontario Living Wage Network
- Joining the Global Alliance for Banking on Values
Kindred and Grebel maintain an ongoing and fruitful partnership through the Centre for Peace Advancement. Annual financial contributions from Kindred supports the Centre's core operations, and the Centre's programs extend Kindred's connections and deepen its community impact. We have also partnered on additional projects, including Kindred's Peace Innovators Scholarship and Mentoring Program for high school students (pictured right). And Kindred's staff have served on the Centre for Peace Advancement's Advisory Committee, as well as the Grebel Peace Incubator's Mentorship Circle.
Aligned values and shared commitment to incubate and advance collaborative, inter-disciplinary, multi-sector peacemaking is at the heart of our partnership with Kindred Credit Union, and continues to inspire our work.