As an intersectional feminist organization, we understand the interplay between money and power. All of you have to do is look at the gender and racial pay gap and it becomes clear just how concretely misogyny, homophobia, and racism and the like translates directly into the size of a paycheck. We’re not the first to point out that in our capitalist society money means more than numbers on a bank account statement. Money and whether you have it or not determines where you live, what kind of health care and education you have access to, and whether or not there’s food in your fridge.
While we continue to agitate for policy change and culture change that make a more equitable state and country, we are committed to bringing all sorts of financial education resources to our community. For two years in a row now, we’ve hosted a series of financial education workshops with Saundra Davis and her team at Sage Financial Solutions as part of our California Women Rising series. Over the course of the last year, ten members of our community participated in the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning (AFCPE) training in preparation to sit for the exam to become accredited financial counselors.
With this training, Black, indigenous, and POC women and gender expansive folks had the opportunity to become accredited financial counselors and support the folks in their communities build wealth and the safety that comes along with it. We had training participants who are counselors with domestic violence organizations and networks supporting Black women’s health. With this AFCPE training, we are bringing community organizing and power building to wealth building.
Among this initial cohort, we had two members of our own Women’s Foundation California team: Mazuri Colley and Nina Lopez. Mazuri manages our community partnerships and Nina is deep in our grantmaking work. Each of them is deeply connected to our community members in their day to day work and saw this training as a meaningful opportunity to deepen their own education and translate that back into how they could support our broad network of youth organizers and grant partners.
As Nina put it, “I coordinate our Summer Leadership Institute with young femmes across California. I spend a large part of my summer connecting with teens who are mostly just entering the world of dollars and cents and being able to stand confident in my own knowledge of finances is so valuable to me and to them.”
“I’m not a financial guru yet,” said Mazuri “but I feel like I’m on my way. I really see this AFCPE training as a way to build power for myself and my community and I can see and feel the impact of that information.” To echo Mazuri’s sentiment, as we offer this training, as we make grants, as we continue the work, we are taking another step forward on the path to racial, economic, and gender justice.