Becoming financially secure is focus of free community seminar Jan. 23

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 the fourth annual “Financial Freedom Seminar: Tying Loose Ends — Becoming Financially Secure,” from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, in Brown Hall, Room 100.

The seminar, free and open to the public, is designed for St. Louis community youth and adults interested in building wealth, repairing and maintaining good credit, purchasing a home or starting and expanding a business.

“Statistics show that the buying power of African Americans is projected to grow to more than $1 trillion in 2012 making African Americans one of the largest demographic of spenders and probably the smallest group of savers,” said Jessica Bassett, second-year Brown School student and SBSSW member.

“This number is appalling given the changing economy and the fact that African Americans make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population,” Bassett said. “Just getting by financially is not going to cut it anymore.

“We must learn how to become financially independent by saving money, making investments, building up our assets, and budgeting our expenses. In light of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of economic justice, this seminar will certainly help us to better prepare for our future,” Bassett said.

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

Debt Freedom; Home Ownership: The Basics; Home Ownership: Foreclosure; Living Beneath Meager Means; Name that Dollar; Starting a Small Business; Savings, Investments and Assets; and Money and Marriage.

A youth workshop, Smart Start to Money, will be offered in the afternoon.

The seminar will begin with a keynote address by Cathey Williamson, president, CEO and founder of Williamson Financial Management Group (WFMG) in St. Louis.

Williamson founded WFMG to expand opportunities for people to grow and develop a solid financial future through access, education and practical money management tools. Her firm specializes in retirement planning, investments, debt elimination and financial education.

“We hope people take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to meet with experts from the St. Louis area,” Bassett said. “Anyone interested in participating should register — and have a desire to become financially successful.”

For more information and to register, visit, e-mail or call 935-3466.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.