Celebrate Juneteenth at the Black Money Forum, an All-Star Free Financial Literacy Event
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Celebrate Juneteenth at the Black Money Forum, an All-Star Free Financial Literacy Event

Black Money Forum Juneteenth

Juneteenth commemorates the end of enslavement and the beginning of independence for all Black Americans. But can you truly be free without financial freedom?

According to the Federal Reserve, the average Black, Latino, or Hispanic household in the U.S. earns about half as much as the average white household and has a net worth of about 15 to 20 percent of that of a white household.

With economic downturns like the 2007 recession or the COVID-19 pandemic, our communities are much more impacted, and the racial wealth gap keeps widening.

As highlighted by discriminatory lending or banking practices, systemic inequalities continue to make wealth-building harder for Black folks. Though Black people have made progress in our participation rate in investing in the stock market, they have a long way to go to close the widening wealth gap. Thankfully, there’s been an increased focus on financial literacy education by Black leaders and educators who can make things more relatable and attainable for the community.

In celebration of Juneteenth this year, some big names in the financial literacy space will share space to educate Black and Brown communities at The Black Money Forum

Brooklyn Bank

(Photo credit: Ricardo C. Sandy)

This free event organized by The Brooklyn Bank, a non-profit organization founded by real estate investor and developer Jude Bernard, will take place Sunday, June 19, at The Kings Theater. Bernard will host the event alongside Angela Yee, host of The Breakfast Club, and of the financial literacy show Money Pie.

Speakers such as Tiffany Aliche “The Budgetnista,Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings of Earn Your Leisure, Tonya Rapley of My Fab Finance, Aristotle Varner of Aristotle Investments, and Ellie Diop of Ellie Talks Money will share their knowledge with the audience.

How The Black Money Forum Came To Be

Bernard has been in the real estate business for over 20 years and has built a real estate portfolio worth multi-millions. But his path to multi-millionaire wasn’t smooth.

Jude Bernard

(Photo credit: Ricardo C. Sandy)

 

“I have built a portfolio valued at over $40 million right now. My mom was a housekeeper, and my dad was a taxi driver. We lived with six people in a two-bedroom apartment. I spent 10 years climbing poles and fixing telephone lines and suffered from gambling. Despite all the adversity and the challenges of my beginnings, I still made it happen and I’m not special. I followed some basic steps to make it happen. Anybody could follow the same steps in whatever field that they choose, whether it’s stocks, real estate, a small business, “ Bernard tells BLACK ENTERPRISE.

The Importance of Education

Bernard went from being worth millions of dollars in 2006 to being insolvent and owing millions during the last recession.

“In hindsight, all the lows I have had came from not being properly prepared and not understanding how things work. I didn’t know what I was signing. I didn’t understand the consequences of what I was doing. I was able to dig myself out and rebuild, and it became very important for me to help my Black and Brown people catch up and close the wealth gap.

I started the Brooklyn bank back in 2016.  I’ve been using the space to have financial literacy events, bring the community together, and provide all kinds of education to teach people the truth about money.”

Then this year, Bernard decided to have a much larger event to celebrate Juneteenth.

“They’re still some freedoms we aren’t capitalizing on, such as financial freedom. I felt it was important that we did something to bring awareness of financial emancipation.”

What To Expect

Bernard describes The Black Money Forum as a safe space to learn about money and not be judged. Bernard hopes attendees also focus on building relationships necessary for anyone’s wealth-building journey.

“You will be in the room with 3,000 other people who have the same mindset and desires to change their circumstances. Your biggest connection is going to be the person right next to you that you’re speaking with, on a similar path that you are on right now.”

Bernard was intentional about having speakers that the audience could relate to.

“Everybody who will be on that stage started where the audience was or even lower,” he says. “It’s just that they took action. They started one day, and The Black Money Forum would be a great day to start.”

Attendees will receive invaluable education on topics like the stock market, real estate, cryptocurrency, credit, mindset, and entrepreneurship. Every attendee will also receive $50 to open an account with the personal finance app Stash to start investing, courtesy of event partners Stash and Goodwater Collective.

Anyone interested in attending can get free tickets on The Black Money Forum website.

About the author

Anne-Lyse Wealth is a writer, wealth educator, and certified public accountant. She is the founder of Plutus Awards-nominated Dreamoflegacy.com, a platform dedicated to inspiring millennials to build wealth with purpose, and The ALW Communications Agency. She is a freelance writer for FortuneBusiness Insider, Harvard Business Review Ascend, and other publications. She is the author of Dream of Legacy, Raising Strong and Financially Secure Black Kids, and the host of The Dreamers Podcast.


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