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Friday, February 26, 2021

Closing the Gap: Financial Literacy Initiative

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According to the Brookings Institute, the median white household held $188,200 in wealth in 2019, nearly eight times that of the typical African American family at $24,100. To boost financial health in the African American community, Northwestern Mutual’s Wise Financial is teaming up with INNOPOWER and the Indianapolis Recorder to present “Closing the Gap,” a financial literacy initiative designed to help individuals gain a practical and thorough understanding of finance. 

“Financial stress continues to affect people of color disproportionately, and this initiative will provide tools and information to help address the current wealth gap,” said Mark Wise, President, and CEO of Wise Financial. “I especially want to thank Eddie Gill, a passionate member of our team who has dedicated his time to mentoring in underserved communities and is spearheading this effort.” 

With additional collaboration from RightHand, “Closing the Gap” aims to teach individuals how to effectively assess their financial health through a series of virtual town hall-style meetings. They will examine topics including practical ways to budget, plan for retirement, and manage debt, amongst several others. 

The meetings will be streamed live on the Indianapolis Recorder’s Facebook page at facebook.com/IndyRecorder, and financial insights and tips will also be shared in its print, digital and social platforms. Each meeting will be 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The schedule is as follows: 
Black History Month Session 1, Feb. 17; Session 2 Feb. 24
Women’s History Month  Session 3, March 10; Session 4, March 24
Financial Literacy Month  Session 5, April 14 (Money Smart Week); Session 6, April 28

Emil Ekiyor, founder and CEO of INNOPOWER and co-leader of this effort with Eddie Gill, said, “We are leveraging this platform and engagements to encourage the Most Vulnerable Population (MVP) to get in the game and compete for equitable ownership of a share of the American Dream of prosperity. We must communicate a different message to our people than what the systems and society tell them every day. They can own homes, land, businesses, and investments that yield positive returns. They can acquire transferable assets and generational wealth.

Robert Shegog, CEO and President of the Indianapolis Recorder, added, “For decades, the Recorder has championed financial literacy and wellness initiatives in the African American community. The lack of financial literacy and wellness are some of the main reasons behind this problematic wealth gap. Financial literacy and financial health are tightly intertwined, especially in our African American community.”
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