MLK Day 2008 – Actualizing MLK’s vision

"Financial Freedom Seminar: Achieving Economic Independence Through Education" Feb. 2 at the School of Social Work

In remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Society of Black Student Social Workers (SBSSW) at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work will host a “Financial Freedom Seminar: Achieving Economic Independence Through Education,” from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 2 in Brown Hall, Room 100.

The event is designed for members of the St. Louis community interested in building wealth, repairing and maintaining good credit, purchasing a home or starting and expanding a business. The event is free.

“SBSSW is truly excited about our 2nd Annual Financial Freedom Seminar,” says Michele Fontaine, SBSSW co-chair and second-year social-work student.

“It is an opportunity for us to engage the African American community and other communities in more than simply remembering the legacy of Dr. King; it gives us a chance to begin the process of actualizing his vision, which extends far beyond physical appearances of equality along color lines.

“Helping individuals and families of color to sustain themselves and to build their assets will do more than simply increase the size of pocketbooks; it will encourage the much-needed motivation for us to continue to strive for a better life, and to pass down to newer generations a psychology of increased self-worth, intensified hunger for achievement, and unwillingness to accept injustice in any form.”

Seminar participants will be able to attend two of the following workshops:

• “What You Really Need to Know About Credit,” which includes information on repairing and improving credit and the impact good credit has on purchases, employment opportunities and bank accounts

• “Qualifying to Buy a Home,” which covers obstacles to the process and ways to overcome them

• “Becoming Debt-free,” which offers financial tools and disciplines

• “Don’t Borrow Trouble,” which explores some of the predatory lending tactics used by unscrupulous lenders

• “Wealth Accumulation: What You Need to Know,” which offers information on how to build sustainable wealth by making informed financial decisions

• “Financial Planning,” which explores investment options to make money work for investors and tips on how to plan for a secure financial future

• “Life After Prison, Who Cares?” which includes methods to help transition back into the community and discussion of re-entry, child support, and employment issues and solutions

The seminar will begin with a keynote address by Dr. Bessie House-Soremekun, founder and CEO of the National Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. (NCE). The NCE is a national, international, and regional collaborative of business centers whose main objective is to promote entrepreneurial efficacy and economic growth across the country.

Soremekun, author of “Confronting the Odds: African American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio,” is the Public Scholar in African American Studies, Civic Engagement, and Entrepreneurship at Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis.

Last year’s Financial Freedom Seminar was attended by over 200 members of the St. Louis community. Many participants noted that they found the seminar information very helpful.

For more information and to register, call 935-7262 or e-mail Breakfast and lunch will be provided.