The Moneywise Empowerment Tour is a free financial fitness/financial empowerment program, scheduled for Oct. 6, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, 750 South Broad St. where the Rev. Lillian Smith is senior pastor.
This event is open to the public and will feature PBS television personality/financial expert Kelvin Boston, along with other financial experts, panel discussions, workshops, gospel entertainment, free refreshments and more!
The tour will present information on topics such as: avoiding foreclosures, mortgage scams, reducing debts, Increasing savings, financial planning, securing employment in the 21st century, starting a small business, buying an R-E-O home, etc. Since its inception six years ago, the tour has served more than 30,000 African-American consumers, churches, military members and their families in the United States, and consumers in foreign countries. The tour’s national sponsor is E*TRADE Financial; other corporate sponsors include the United States Small Business Administration, FDIC, SCORE, New York Life, Operation HOPE and others.
“I’ve actually been doing the [National PBS television] show now for almost 15 years. We went from local access cable, now we’re on public television. I’m a financial planner by profession, that’s what I did before I started producing the TV series,” said Kelvin Boston, a 1978 Lincoln University graduate.
Before hosting his popular television series, Boston was a financial planner who spent his time educating his clients on investments, savings, insurance products, retirement, debt reduction, and mutual funds. “I just felt there was a big need for financial education that wasn’t being met, especially in the African-American community. Even today, there are very few financial shows that talk about the basics — that really talk about the issues that are important to people of color.”
The tour was Boston’s strategic approach to effectively reaching a larger forum of consumers to provide his financial literacy services to, and television eventually became his medium of choice. But his efforts to reach a larger African-American audience were first piloted in an inner city church in New York.
Boston said, “There was a study that came out last year by Prudential that looked at African Americans and their savings habits, and one of the things they found was, after the recession hit, one of the few places that African Americans feel comfortable today, is the Black church. And they also want the Black church to provide them with more financial education.” Boston said that it’s important that he continues holding his tour at churches because he wants it to have a true community focus, be easily accessible to the general public and be hosted at a location that’s non-foreboding.
Boston said that while white Americans are experiencing the Great Recession, African Americans are experiencing a great economic depression. In a June 21 CNNMoney.com news article, ‘Worsening Wealth Inequality by Race,’ it reported, “White Americans have 22 times more wealth than Blacks, a gap that nearly doubled during the Great Recession. The median household net worth for whites was $110,729 in 2010, versus $4,995 for Blacks, according to recently released Census Bureau figures. The difference is similarly notable when it comes to Hispanics, who had a median household net worth of $7,424.”
“The Moneywise Empowerment Tour is really going over all the U.S., hosted in one church per city,” said Rev. Smith.
Smith was motivated to host the Philadelphia Tour stop because of the valuable topics that will empower local participants financially. According to Smith, African Americans (particularly) will become “economically strong” from their participation in the all-day Tour event.
Smith said, “We’re hoping to bless the entire community, because we know in South Philly there’s a number of people who are struggling to hold on to their houses, we’re in crazy economic upheaval, folk are just trying to hold steady and get ahead. Regarding the church community, you can’t bless anybody else if you don’t have it to give.”
Smith said God never intended for people to be in financial bondage. “We have to think differently, and we got to learn. The scriptures say ‘my people perish for lack of knowledge’ — when we learn, we’ll put ourselves on a different path.”
The Moneywise Tour is a free event that’s open to the general public, but individuals must register to attend; to register and for more information, call Tindley Temple United Methodist Church: (215) 735-0442, or go directly online to the Tour’s official registration page: http://www.rsvpbook.com/event.php?408929%22%3E%3CIMG.