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Our History

      Maggie L. Walker was the  first woman to open and serve as president of a chartered bank in the United States. Rooted in Legacy, she was fully committed to ensuring generational wealth for African Americans. 

     Raised and educated in Richmond Public Schools, Maggie L. Walker is the epitome of a hometown success. At the young age of 14, Mrs. Walker joined the Independent Order of St. Luke, a well known, black organization that assisted the sick and elderly in the community. From that point on, Maggie advanced from a member to to the head of the organization, helping to advance the organization further. This organization was one of the first to offer death benefits, helping families not only find closure with the death of their loved ones, but feel financially comfortable after a loved ones transition.

     Around 1902, Mrs. Walker established a newspaper, The St. Luke Herald. With over 3,000 subscribers, the newspaper promoted communication among the community. Later she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank which gave her the recognition she currently holds as the first African American to own a bank. Until 2009 the bank thrived as the oldest, continually operated African American-operated bank in the US. 

     Maggie L. Walker devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment and delivering educational opportunities to people of color. 

     Fast forward to today,  the St Luke Legacy Center is continuing the legacy of Mrs. Walker by creating space for underrepresented families to flourish in every aspect of life. We recognize that at the age of 14, Maggie knew she could make an impact on her community. Through our wraparound service and initiatives, we hope to instill the same motivation in today’s youth. 

     We are a  female led, minority owned, social enterprise with a mission to impact the community in a positive way, continuing the legacy of Mrs. Walker and all the others before us.

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