MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A free twelve week financial literacy program begins Thursday night. It hopes to get people struggling out of debt and financially empowered. The program is being brought to Memphians virtually for free from the Black Clergy Collective of Memphis.
“We want to make certain that the Black church, the African-American church, does more than make us happy on Sunday morning," Rev. Darell Harrington said.
Harrington is a pastor at New Sardis Baptist Church: one of the 40 predominately black churches that came together to form the Black Clergy Collective of Memphis after the death of George Floyd.
"We founded it not only address criminal justice reform, civic engagement but economic empowerment," Rev. Dr. J Lawrence Turner, of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, said.
One way they trying to achieve that is by helping people become financially literate. They teamed up with DFree Academy, a wealth-building organization, to offer the financial literacy program.
It's free and begins Thursday evening with an orientation.
“We felt one of the ways we could empower our community was by providing pathways from debt," Turner said.
They also want people to have the know-how to avoid predatory practices and to build a legacy for them and their families.
“We want to put them in first place when it comes to understanding their finances and understanding that they can in fact do better," Harrington said. "There are so many individuals that suffer in silence when it comes to payday lenders when it comes to banking out of their pocket.”
During the 12 weeks the program will cover topics like credit management, business development, wealth building, investing, home ownership and more.
“When we speak of freedom it truly is being free of the constraints so yeah, to liberate yourself is a sense fighting back against the system that continues to hold you down and benefits off your misery," Turner said.
Register at mydfree.org. Select the BCCM link. Orientation will occur April 8 at 6 p.m. CST. Registration has been extended through April 14.