Submitted by United Way of Whatcom County

Beginning Wednesday, February 8 at 2 p.m., United Way of Whatcom County will partner with Next Gen Personal Finance to present a 4-part educational webinar series focusing on the history of discrimination in finance. The series will explore the topics of racism in finance, the impact of inflation on Communities of Color, women and finance, and how to identify the signs of financial abuse. Sessions will take place every other Wednesday from 2-3 PST until March 22.

Tori Mansfield, Director of Financial Equity and Empowerment with Next Gen Personal Finance, will lead this eye-opening and educational series. This is United Way’s second partnership with Next Gen Personal Finance. “We are thrilled to partner once more with Next Gen Personal Finance and Tori to present this important information to our community,” said Kristi Birkeland, United Way of Whatcom County President/CEO. “Her sessions are informative, interactive, and extremely humbling. The more we learn about our past, the more equipped we are to build a better future.”

Registration for this event is free and open to everyone. One registration provides access to all four sessions.

To register, visit https://www.unitedwaywhatcom.org/events/

Financial Disparities in Whatcom County

Whatcom County is not exempt from the issues discussed in this series. According to the most recent United for ALICE data, Black, Hispanic, and Native/Pacific Islander households in Whatcom County were much likelier to struggle to make ends meet than white households. The data also showed that 55% of Black households in Whatcom County could not afford the cost of living in our community, compared to 33% of white households. This localized data follows national trends highlighting the disparities in wealth between Black and white households. According to a study by the Federal Reserve, the national average net worth of Black households was $24,100, compared $188,200 for white households.

Local United for ALICE data also revealed that 76% of single female-headed households in Whatcom County struggle to afford the basics of what it takes to get by (compared to 18% of married households and 49% of single male-headed households). Recent research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median earnings for women was 83.1% of the medianearnings for men nationwide. 

This Discrimination in Finance webinar series is timely, as conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) circulate in mainstream media and in workplaces nationwide. Discriminatory lending practices, sexist banking policies, and other such issues have shaped the financial landscape we experience today. United Way of Whatcom County hopes this education series will be a steppingstone for individuals, families, workplaces, and our community to create a more equitable future for all. 

For more information about the webinar series, visit https://www.unitedwaywhatcom.org/blog/united-we-grow-discrimination-in-finance.html

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