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Economic Education and Empowerment for Youth of Color

The inextricable link between financial education and economic wellbeing has been well established.  A recent report by the TIAA Institute entitled, “Financial Literacy and Wellness of African Americans," documented a financial literacy deficit among African Americans, compared to the general population. This lack of fiscal understanding translates into a reduced quality of life for African Americans and other individuals of color who do not have the equivalent level of financial knowledge of their mainstream peers.


Local conditions in Milwaukee reflect these national trends: While the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction mandates school-based financial literacy education, it does not provide adequate resources to ensure implementation. As a result, students in resource-constrained, high-need districts – where financial literacy would be the most transformative – miss out, destined to be trapped in a perpetual cycle of financial insecurity.  This inequity of access to financial knowledge is exacerbated by the reality that many youth of color in Milwaukee live in environments where knowledge of best practices in personal finance and investing is limited or even nonexistent.

Co-led by United Way, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Department of Health - Office of Violence Prevention, and CLIMB USA, Milwaukee’s financial education network has come together to take a closer look at the financial literacy gap through a collective impact initiative. This network will establish a shared financial education agenda to collectively address the financial education needs and opportunities for Milwaukee’s youth of color. 

The first project of the Collective Impact Initiative was the Stock Market Game Summer Pilot. A press release describing this project can be found under Resources.

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