Equipping Black communities with financial literacy is more imperative than ever before. Inflation is driving up the cost of everyday necessities, hitting our community the hardest. NFTs are rapidly taking over conversations, but we’re often left out. Amidst these buzzy financial topics, procuring the financial health of Black people is fundamental.
The 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances revealed that the typical White family has eight times the wealth of the typical Black family and five times the wealth of the typical Hispanic family. The persistence of this economic divide is a result of continued inequality and discrimination. The narrative is as old as this country. The last two years of the pandemic have only further revealed our financial wellbeing.
“During covid, a lot of things were exposed that were obviously already topics that we knew we needed to focus on, but a lot of that stuff came to light,” said Brandon McEachern, a co-founder of Broccoli City. This year’s Broccoli Con is taking place May 5-6 at The Gathering Spot in D.C. The two-day conference will zero in on five topics, Black wellness, financial literacy, professional/career development, technology, and startups/small businesses.
“We’ll be doing a financial literacy conversation with JPMorgan Chase. It’s focused around young people, and them getting the foundational elements together, like saving, and answering questions like should you use a credit card?,” said Jermon Williams, a co-founder of Broccoli City. “A lot of the basics when it comes to financial literacy,” he continues.
Since November, the founders of Broccoli City have worked with 10 interns from area colleges, Howard, Hampton, Morgan State, and Georgetown. The internship will culminate in students attending Broccoli Con.
“This year was sponsored by Indeed, so we’ll be doing a lot of resume building, workshops, as well as job placement. On-site we’ll have Live Nation, Converse, YouTube, so we’re super excited to be able to be a pipeline to get some of these young kids awesome jobs coming out of school,” Williams said. Beyond the two-day conference, they’re looking to do Broccoli Con sessions this summer. We want to be able to pump these exercises into the brains of the young ones.” In order to support the financial ecosystem of the community, Broccoli City Fest also offers a Market Place on May 7-8, where entrepreneurs can sell everything from apparel to art.
“For many of us, your credit score was already in the ground before you even started learning. However, we want to help people shift this. We’re going to continue to do Broccoli Con apart from the festival, so this summer we’ll actually be doing a couple of programs,” Jermon continued. The trajectory of our communities often is in the balance of how we show up for one another, Broccoli Con is working to educate communities, so this generation is ready to build generational wealth. “What we’re doing didn’t come from George Floyd or anything of that nature. We wake up Black every day,” Jermon said. Broccoli Con encourages a culture where we discuss healing credit scores, developing savings plans, owning businesses, and even buying homes.