Hill Harper is starting an open conversation about money within the Black community to promote financial literacy.
“Financial literacy is critical for our community in my opinion,” Hill told S2S this afternoon at the Washington, D.C., launch of a Black media tour with Wells Fargo that aims to educate the community about the importance of proper money management.
Hill touched on the topic of finance as it relates to relationships in his latest book, The Conversation. And his Manifest Your Destiny foundation has worked with Wells Fargo before on the Empower Me tour, which hit up a number of HBCUs.
Building on the success of that model, Wells Fargo is now reaching out to the rest of Black community. Hill speculates that the financial company realizes that it’s simply good business to educate prospective customers especially in a segment where proper money management isn’t always a priority.
“I think it’s a win-win situation in the sense that the more our people learn about financial literacy—saving and investing—the more we can save,” he said, “which is great for us as well as [the banks].”
“So many of us have fears regarding money,” he added. “Connecting with a financial professional is critical. We need to communicate about that. We need to lift the veil and start and looking at what’s going on.”
But what’s Hill’s best advice for learning to build wealth? It’s as simple as talking. He advises Black people to open up to family and friends about their financial situation. He believes that an open dialogue might be one of the best ways to educate ourselves and promote financial literacy.
“There’s so much secrecy and shame around financial literacy, and I want to remove that,” Hill said. "It’s all about communication, coming up with a plan and being consistent sticking to that plan. Ultimately, many of us get very much afraid of doing that. I want to talk about that fear, not run away from it.”
Later in the day, the actor-activist began that conversation with 100 students and their parents at the Fishing School in D.C., where he spoke about Wells Fargo’s Hands on Banking Financial Education program.
– Sonya Eskridge
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