The racial wealth gap in America remains extreme between white and Black communities and the gap has been growing over the last three decades. Wealth is considered the difference between a household’s assets and debt. According to research from the Brookings Institute, Black households – which account for 13.4% of the U.S. population – only hold 4% ($4.6 trillion) of total household wealth. This is compared to white households, which make up 60 percent of the U.S. population, and hold 84% ($94 trillion) of total household wealth in the U.S. Now one organization, Wall Street Juniors, is working to help close the persistent disparity.
According to the organization’s website, Wall Street Juniors helps to bring financial literacy to the forefront. The program provides access to financial literacy education while improving community standards of social responsibility through the power of equitable engagement with efforts to establish and develop community sustainability and generational wealth. Wall Street Juniors stands on principles including community and equity and promotes positive financial behaviors. The organization has committed itself to creating stronger and sustainable communities using a “bottom-up” approach that focuses on equipping youth with the needed tools to create generational wealth.
Wall Street Juniors has multiple events coming up for individuals to participate in. The organization is expected to host “Behave Like a Boss Meet-up: Business Funding” on the fourth of July and the event will serve as a thinking session for advancing and establishing nonprofit and business operations. There will also be a financial literacy lab held on Sunday, July 16 and both events will take place via Zoom.
Although Wall Street Juniors is rooted in financial empowerment, the organization also takes the time to work on participants’ overall development. It offers academic assistance, mentorship and leadership building. Wall Street Juniors currently has two chapters, one for Atlanta residents and one for residents in Durham, North Carolina. The program is founded and led by MaKayla Booker, who sees being financially illiteracy as a form of disability.
Anyone interested in sowing into the lives of young wealth builders can become a “Community Investor,” which will help to support the organization’s initiatives. Donations of all sizes are welcomed and can help with hosting monthly financial literacy labs or even building a bank account for a program participant.