OneUnited Bank is on a mission to tackle the racial wealth gap in America. The financial institution—which is the country’s largest Black-owned bank—has launched a new initiative focused on financial empowerment within the African American community.
The campaign—dubbed BankBlack X—was created to provide financial literacy resources. As part of the project, the bank launched a free online Financial Education Center that provides valuable information about how to navigate major life milestones that are tied to finances including planning for retirement, the fundamentals of launching a small business and starting a new career. The bank has also launched the BankBlack Card and BankBlack Early Pay, where customers can get paid early.
“We have many weapons to affect change, starting with the truth. The reality is that almost everything we have been taught about Black Americans and money has been wrong,” said Teri Williams, President & COO, OneUnited. “We have been bamboozled and led astray…for 400 years. We need to share the truth to make financial literacy a core value of our community!”
Projects like BankBlack X are needed as the racial wealth gap continues to grow in America. According to the New York Times, for every $100 in white family wealth, Black families have $5.04. Further research revealed that one in four African American households have zero or negative net worth.
Several people and institutions are stepping up to address the issue. Entrepreneur Sheena Allen launched an online banking platform called CapWay as an avenue to help underserved communities learn more about the importance of financial literacy. Will Smith and Nas invested in an app designed to educate teenagers about the facets of money management.