Celebrate Black History Month with AFCPE!
Black History Month is an annual celebration in honor of the achievements and history of African Americans.
Black History Month is also an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the work of Black AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) professionals, AFC® Candidates, and AFCPE Members who are making an impact in the field of financial counseling, coaching, and education.
It is an ideal time for us, as financial professionals, to expand our knowledge about the unique barriers to financial well-being that members of the Black community may encounter and ensure that we are using a lens of inclusion in our work.
The Black Community has Unique Barriers to Financial Capability
Did you know:
- In 2019, White families had a median wealth of $188,200, while Black families had a median wealth of $24,100. [US Federal Reserve]
- Forty-two percent of African Americans who were employed full time engaged in additional work for pay; the comparable figure among whites was 28%. [GFLEC]
- About 83 percent of Black seniors do not have the assets they need for retirement. [Center for Global Policy Solutions]
- Black Americans are also far less likely [than White Americans] to have inherited (23% vs. 51%) or expect to inherit wealth (15% vs. 35%). [Ariel-Schwab]
- Financial literacy varies with employment status. In particular, unemployed or disabled African Americans have markedly less personal finance knowledge than those employed and those retired. [GFLEC]
- Black-owned businesses declined by 41% between February and April 2020, compared with a 17% decline among White-owned businesses. [CNBC]
How You can Support the Black Community during Black History Month and Beyond
With the help of AFCPE staff, Members, and certified professionals, we have compiled a list of resources that can be used to guide and support you in your work with the Black community. This list is not comprehensive, but it can serve as a starting place in your journey to creating an environment that is safe and supportive for your Black colleagues and clients.
Have more resources to add? Drop them in the comments below!
Recognizing Financial Challenges
Historical inequity, racism, and the racial wealth gap significantly affect the black community’s ability to reach financial stability. Learning how to identify these challenges can help you provide financial guidance that directly addresses your clients’ needs and experiences.
Addressing Barriers to Accessing Financial Services
Discrimination and bias play a huge part in determining the financial capability of the Black community.
According to a 2020 Ariel-Schwab survey, only 35 percent of African American investors feel they are treated with respect by financial institutions versus 62 percent for white investors.
Ensure that your practice is inclusive and accessible so you can provide the best advice for your clients.
- Financial Literacy and Wellness among African-Americans [GFLEC]
- After years of banks overcharging and undervaluing Black customers, ‘banking Black’ is gaining popularity as an effective way to fight systemic racism [Business Insider]
- What’s the impact of persistent barriers to basic financial services? [Federal Reserve Bank of Boston]
- Better Understanding of Credit Can Help Close Racial Homeownership Gaps [Freddie Mac]
Building an Equitable Business
If you’re working to create a more equitable private practice or business, it’s critical that you have the right tools and strategies for both recruitment and retention.
Connect them to qualified, caring AFC® professionals
If you aren’t currently offering one-on-one financial counseling, please help refer clients to:
- AFCPE’s free financial counseling and coaching services, made possible with the support of AFC and FFC certified volunteers and with generous grant funding from Wells Fargo Foundation.
- AFCPE’s Find an AFC directory: A useful tool to help individuals find a qualified counselor in their area. Rates are determined by individual counselors.
Most recently updated in February of 2023.