MoneyWi$e at the NCRC Annual Conference

Published: Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Consumer Action’s Sol Carbonell presents at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition Annual Conference.

Held in Washington, DC, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition conference attracted hundreds of organizations from across the country. Leaders from business, government, community non-profits, media, and academia met from March 11 through 14 for cutting-edge dialogue, hands-on training, workshops, plenaries, and topical sessions on issues affecting America’s communities. In keeping with this year’s theme, the Roadmap to a Financially Inclusive Society, the conference included discussions that explored solutions to the nation's pressing foreclosure crisis, financial system reform, access to banking services and products, small business development, green technologies, and much more.

Carbonell’s presentation, MoneyWi$e: The Partnership and Approach, provided participants with an overview of the MoneyWi$e financial literacy project developed by Consumer Action and Capital One. Carbonell highlighted some of the project’s accomplishments and noted that, through the free multilingual MoneyWi$e publications and training materials, Consumer Action has reached millions of consumers with financial literacy information. “We’re very proud of our partnership and of our ability to offer consumers tools and resources to better manage their money,” Carbonell told conference attendees.

Carbonell also explained how Consumer Action partnered with NCRC to bring MoneyWi$e resources, training opportunities and funding to NCRC members. In 2008, the NCRC’s Training Academy hosted five MoneyWi$e webinars focusing on Building and Rebuilding Credit, Money Management and Banking Basics, attracting almost 300 agencies from 30 states.

In addition, Carbonell described how Consumer Action has trained staff of various NCRC member agencies including the Durham-based North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development (NCIMED) and Border Fair Housing (BFH) of El Paso, Texas. After attending regional MoneyWi$e conferences, BFH received a stipend to help enhance its financial literacy efforts and its service to residents of low-income Colonias. NCIMED hosted a roundtable training in Durham, sponsored by Consumer Action, to educate their local partners on topics such as Micro Business Basics, Bankruptcy and Rebuilding Good Credit, among others.

Carbonell’s presentation included a discussion of how four MoneyWi$e modules—Banking Basics, Good Credit, Rebuilding Your Credit and Managing Your Money—are being used by Consumer Action’s network of 11,000 agencies to educate low-income consumers, seniors, minorities and others. The session included a Q&A period moderated by Lee Beaulac, Sr. Vice President of Community and Economic Development for PathStone and member of NCRC’s board of directors.

Several participants, already familiar with MoneyWi$e, praised Consumer Action for the quality of its educational materials, non-biased information, and efforts to advance financial literacy across the nation. La-Tasha Best-Gaddy, Director of Education & Training at NCIMED, said, “It is wonderful to have reputable national partners and consumer advocates that can offer you free training and great materials like MoneyWi$e, while they fight right next to you for improved policies and practices to benefit all consumers.”


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