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Teach and Train Financial Literacy to Black Youth

At the California Black Chamber of Commerce it is, without question, our duty and honor to teach and train the next generation of African American entrepreneurs the most successful route to financial success personally and in business.

As the new century promised, society has ushered in a new business leader, formed from the age of digital technology and deep roots of ingenuity.

If nothing else, the great recession reminded us we must take things into our own hands and create our own way; and within our community we will survive by providing, quality services and innovative, state of the art products and prospering in the free market.

Our youth can take advantage of the emerging opportunities through our effort to provide financial literacy workshops and seminars. It is imperative that we have candid discussions about how to manage personal and business finance with our children.

The Black Chamber stands in harmony with a national movement to prepare the next generation for financial stability.

President Barack Obama recently appointed Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League to the president’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.

Their goal is to emphasize financial capability among youth and young adults by building strong partnerships between the education community, private industry and government to coordinate the use of high quality financial literacy programming.

We must begin to teach and train our youth how to manage their money at the beginning stages of their life. At the very least, once they learn how to count, they should learn how to count the money they earn.

Our youth entrepreneurs and financial literacy workshops during the annual African American Leadership Weekend features sound financial practices and habits among young people that will increase their upward mobility.

We dig in to the nuts and bolts of financial management. Our intensive exercises challenge the youth on balancing their accounts, handling credit and debt and how they should not spend their financial aid check for college. We implore them to write out a budget, making it clear to them that their financial life can be broken down into categories of bills that must be paid for transportation, food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, entertainment and quite a few others. In addition, we give them tools to explore a variety of ways to enhance their income and live prosperous on their own financial terms.

It is always curious to see a 20 year old, puzzled when their living plan collapses because getting an apartment, maintaining a car, keeping the lights on, eating and buying a shirt and shorts, cost about two times more than his paycheck at the drive through. And he’s still trying to find out what FICA is and why is it taking so much money out of his check every week.

While few of us know what a tax deduction really is, it is critical that we introduce these terms to our youth to increase literacy and understanding and improve economic conditions among African Americans and future business leaders of America.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let’s get some conversation going….

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