The Historically Black Colleges & Universities Community Development Action Coalition (HBCU CDAC) is proud to announce the launch of a comprehensive financial wellness initiative, Our Money Matters (OMM) for college students of color. This new $5.6 million initiative, funded exclusively by the Wells Fargo Foundation, is taking a more holistic approach to helping students who may be facing food and housing insecurity, college debt and other financial hardships to increase opportunities for financial inclusion and future economic success.
HBCU CDAC also announced the launch of OMM on seven HBCU campuses: Allen University, Bowie State University, Lincoln University, Miles College, Morris Brown College, Southern University at New Orleans, and University of Illinois at Chicago.
Over the next three years, OMM will expand to 25 HBCU and Minority Serving Institution (MSI) campuses across the U.S., equipping roughly 40,000 students of color and the extended community with much needed financial capability skills, personalized tools for managing finances and student loans, and access to support services like career closets and emergency financial assistance. Over the long term, this initiative aims to accelerate opportunities for building generational wealth within communities of color to help to close the racial wealth divide.
“The initiation of the OMM program is especially timely as the economic burden of COVID-19 is projected to have a devastating impact on HBCUs, MSIs, and surrounding communities. The OMM program is a proactive solution positioned to address these issues and generational wealth disparities within communities of color. Our partnership with the Wells Fargo Foundation demonstrates our aligned interest in equipping our partner institutions and their surrounding communities with the financial tools needed to create wealth for generations to come”, said Ron Butler, CEO of HBCU CDAC.
“As a financial institution, we believe we have a responsibility to do even more to accelerate financial inclusion for people of color,” said Darlene Goins, head of Financial Health Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “HBCUs and MSIs are known for helping generations of Black youth and other students of color achieve academic and professional success. Working with HBCU CDAC, we hope to support students who may be navigating complex financial challenges and give them a stronger foundation for future success and opportunities for wealth generation.”
Through its holistic “wrap around” approach to addressing the myriad of factors that have contributed to the persistent wealth gap, OMM’s programs and resources will engage, educate, support and scale financial capability and wealth creation in communities of color while disrupting and removing barriers to economic opportunity. The program has three primary components:
• The Online Financial Counseling Hub, powered by iGrad, is a digital platform that helps students manage their day-to-day finances and build new skills and habits for life after college, including personalized tools for managing student loans, car loan calculator, investment analyzer, and access to certified financial planners.
• The Financial Curriculum, developed in collaboration with academics and financial professionals, includes a wide variety of financial health courses and interactive activities, which faculty and staff can also integrate into general education and degree programs.
• OMM Service Suite connects students with on campus and community-based support services such as housing assistance, employment opportunities, and career closets that provide access to appropriate interview and work attire.
“Lincoln remains committed to supporting students to persist to and through graduation. This comprehensive education program teaches students financial literacy and connects them with resources to address their financial gaps,” comments Dr. Brenda A. Allen, President, Lincoln University.
Partnering with Our Money Matters is going to be a great resource for our students,” said Bobbie Knight, President, Miles College “This program will provide an important tool to teach our students the importance of good money management and financial responsibility.”
To learn how to get involved as a student, participating school, or community partner visit: www.OurMoneyMatters.com.