Virtual Events to Highlight Strategies that Promote Financial Stability, Wealth

Posted August 31, 2020, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Young couple looks at bills together on the computer

Upcom­ing events sup­port­ed by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion will high­light effec­tive strate­gies for reduc­ing debt and increas­ing finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty for fam­i­lies and young peo­ple — espe­cial­ly those of col­or — includ­ing prac­tices and poli­cies for address­ing house­holds’ needs dur­ing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The events will be host­ed by part­ners of the Casey Foundation’s South­ern Part­ner­ship to Reduce Debt (SPRD) — a mul­ti­year, mul­ti­state effort that con­fronts the racial wealth gap through resolv­ing sys­temic debt bur­dens of fam­i­lies and young peo­ple in the South, par­tic­u­lar­ly those in com­mu­ni­ties of color.

Pros­per­i­ty Sum­mit to focus on eco­nom­ic jus­tice and wealth equity

The 2020 Vir­tu­al Pros­per­i­ty Sum­mit, host­ed by Pros­per­i­ty Now, will bring togeth­er pro­fes­sion­als — includ­ing advo­cates, fun­ders, researchers and pol­i­cy­mak­ers — from across the nation who are work­ing to enhance finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty and wealth equi­ty at a time when income inequal­i­ty is high and many Amer­i­cans feel finan­cial­ly inse­cure. The online con­fer­ence, held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, will include ses­sions on reduc­ing fam­i­lies’ debt, increas­ing house­hold sav­ings and clos­ing the racial wealth gap

Sev­er­al ses­sions will also focus on respons­es to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic — includ­ing a Casey-spon­sored pan­el dis­cus­sion that will explore how the out­break has affect­ed stu­dents pur­su­ing post­sec­ondary edu­ca­tion; the dis­parate finan­cial bur­den of high­er edu­ca­tion on stu­dents of col­or; and strate­gies and poli­cies that aim to reduce col­lege costs.

Speak­ers include: Kei­th Elli­son, Minnesota’s attor­ney gen­er­al; April Ryan, White House cor­re­spon­dent; Day­mond John, founder of FUBU; and Edgar Vil­lanue­va, author and phil­an­thropy expert.

Reg­is­ter for the con­fer­ence by Sept. 16

Address­ing debt in Texas

The sec­ond set of events, the Debt in Texas Vir­tu­al Learn­ing Series, spear­head­ed by Asset Fun­ders Net­work and the Fed­er­al Reserve Bank of Dal­las, launch­es in late Sep­tem­ber and will explore var­i­ous forms of debt and their effects on Tex­ans — as well as strate­gies and prac­tices to help fam­i­lies over­come the finan­cial bur­dens they face. 

Texas, like oth­er South­ern states, has a high rate of debt among its res­i­dents, espe­cial­ly those in Black and Lati­no com­mu­ni­ties. The state ranks sec­ond-high­est in the nation in the per­cent­age of res­i­dents who have debt in col­lec­tions (44%), accord­ing to the Urban Institute.

The vir­tu­al ses­sions include:

  • The Past: How We Got Here, Thurs­day, Sept. 24, 10 – 11:30 a.m. CT
    This ses­sion will focus on the his­tor­i­cal inequities cre­at­ed by the nation’s post­sec­ondary edu­ca­tion poli­cies and deci­sions in Texas that have con­tributed to the cur­rent stu­dent-debt cri­sis in the state.
  • The Present: Where We Are Today, Tues­day, Sept. 29, 10 – 11:30 a.m. CT (option­al net­work­ing ses­sion to start at 9:30 a.m. CT)
    This event will explore racial dis­par­i­ties in stu­dent debt and bor­row­er outcomes.
  • The Future: Where We Want to Go, Thurs­day, Oct. 1, 9 – 10:30 a.m. CT
    Speak­ers and atten­dees in this ses­sion will exchange ideas and strate­gies for address­ing stu­dent debt and col­lege affordability. 

Though the event will focus on Texas, indi­vid­u­als from across the nation are encour­aged to attend, includ­ing finan­cial-aid rep­re­sen­ta­tives, pol­i­cy­mak­ers, fun­ders and advocates.

Reg­is­ter for the vir­tu­al learn­ing series

As part of the learn­ing series, addi­tion­al events also are planned for Decem­ber 2020 that will focus on the effects of gov­ern­ment fines and fees on Tex­ans, espe­cial­ly on peo­ple of col­or, while ses­sions in Feb­ru­ary 2021 will explore med­ical debt. To learn more, con­tact Anna Crock­ett.

Exces­sive debt is a stub­born obsta­cle for fam­i­lies, espe­cial­ly those of col­or, that holds peo­ple back in their efforts to build wealth and finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty,” says Don Bay­lor, a senior asso­ciate with the Casey Foun­da­tion. We’re glad these vir­tu­al events will offer pro­gram lead­ers, fun­ders, pol­i­cy­mak­ers and oth­er stake­hold­ers an oppor­tu­ni­ty to share effec­tive strate­gies, prac­tices and poli­cies that can help address the debt cri­sis fac­ing many fam­i­lies — espe­cial­ly as the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic reduces incomes and eco­nom­ic opportunities.”

Learn about efforts to reduce debt in the South 

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