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Independent Order of St. Luke

From its inception, the Independent Order of St. Luke (IOSL) identified and provided for African American needs.  Over three decades, the IOSL grew from a burial society to a fraternal order and life insurance company. It provided a social outlet and security to its members, including the payment of death benefits. 

Maggie Walker took charge of the Order in 1899 when the need for economic independence was critical to improving lives of African Americans. She led the Order into the 20th century with the words, “Let us put our money together; let us use our money; Let us put our money out as usury among ourselves, and reap the benefit ourselves."  Mrs. Walker’s ability to inspire and organize led to record accomplishments for the IOSL over the next 20 years.  These included increased membership, financial security, and business ownership. More...

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