On Thursday, December 6 at the AT&T Conference Center at Minute Maid Park, the National Urban League joined with the Houston Area Urban League to conduct its Economic Empowerment Tour in Houston, Texas, the fourth stop in a tour launched last October in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Entitled “You, Your Money, Your Future,” the purpose of the one-day event was to heighten awareness of economic disparities that exist between minorities and whites in the metropolitan area and connect people with real tools and resources that will help them improve their financial situation on all fronts – from landing a better-paying job to owning their own home to business development to building a nest egg for retirement.
In the 2007 State of Black of America, the National Urban League found that the economic status of African Americans is just 57 percent of that of white Americans, when comparing such factors as income, unemployment, homeownership, business ownership, median net worth and poverty rates. According to a recent study by the Economic Mobility Project, African Americans have actually lost ground in terms of household income since the 1970s.
The League’s work is focused on closing this economic gap through programs and advocacy enabling better jobs, increased homeownership, greater entrepreneurship and enhanced financial literacy.
“There is no doubt that economic empowerment is at the core of the 21st century civil rights movement. In the 1950s and 1960s, African Americans and other minorities made great strides on numerous fronts. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act paved the way for greater political and civic participation. Affirmative Action opened the doors of the nation’s educational institutions and corporations,” said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.
“The final challenge we face in achieving equality in the United States is improving our bottom line. We need to equip ourselves with the tools and skills required to raise our standard of living and close the economic divide existing between minorities and mainstream America,” he added.
The tour was made possible through the generous support of Freddie Mac, Ford Motor Company and the Fannie Mae Foundation.