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Financial Literacy Equity Gap Training in School

WHEREAS, financial illiteracy in the African American Community is an equity issue as evidenced by the fact that the nation's 44 million African-Americans account for 13% of the U.S. population and have a significant impact on the economy, with $1.2 trillion in purchases annually; and

WHEREAS, African-Americans are less likely than Whites to receive education in money management; and

WHEREAS, financial literacy training can teach African American children and youth how to manage their finances early and often become adults who are better equipped to live independently; and

WHEREAS, financial literacy training will provide African Americans (young and old) with the knowledge to adopt financial habits and practices that result in wealth accumulation, including the adoption of the growth mindset, understanding of money management; and

WHEREAS, American public schools do not teach African American children even the most basic financial literacy, and this can lead to a lifetime of problems, including consistent unemployment, chronic amounts of debt, overspending, poverty, and ongoing economic despair; and

WHEREAS, a recent study by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), found that teaching financial skills to kids before they enter college, or the workforce is crucial to helping them grow into adults who can achieve financial security and success. And yet, only 20 states mandate that high school students study economics. In addition, only 17 states require students to study personal finance; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP Economic Department's work enhances the capacity of African Americans and other underserved groups through financial, economic education; individual and community asset building initiatives; diversity and inclusion in business hiring, career advancement and procurement; and monitoring financial banking practices; and

WHEREAS, the present and future financial sustainability of a financially strong black community is dependent on African-Americans becoming more financially literate today so that tomorrow the African-American community will have a fighting chance to close the ever widening financial literacy equity gap that has always existed between whites and blacks in America, which, unfortunately, have become even more extensive in this post recession era.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will advocate at the federal, state and local levels to create a financial literacy program aimed to support and promote the positive impacts of a financial literacy training program for African American children in K-12 American schools; and collaborate with African American faith-based groups and community benefit organizations to launch a national campaign to close the financial literacy gap for the African American Community.