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Black leadership group continuing financial literacy series Saturday
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Black leadership group continuing financial literacy series Saturday

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Robert Smith


WATERLOO — A leadership program for Cedar Valley African-American professionals is continuing its virtual financial empowerment series Saturday.

The 24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium is hosting the second installment of the series, starting at 10 a.m. It will run for the next three Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon.

Keith Chappelle, national sales director at Primerica and a former University of Iowa football player, will facilitate this Saturday’s event. He joined Primerica in 1981 and champions “How Money Works,” a program that teaches the basics of personal finance

The launch event took place July 30 and featured entrepreneur and professional athlete Herbert Washington along with a number of local contributors.

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Waterloo, IA Human Rights Building

Posted by 2gether We Walk on Thursday, August 6, 2020

“Financial literacy is the key to financial empowerment allowing individuals to properly apply financial management skills to everyday decisions,” Robert Smith Jr., executive director of the University of Northern Iowa Center for Urban Education, said in a news release. He is an organizer of the group, also known as 24/7 BLAC.

Its steering committee met July 22 with local banking leaders, seeking to establish a partnership. The goal of the meeting and this series is to foster relationships with people who historically have had limited access to banking services. The group plans to meet on a quarterly basis.

“It’s all about establishing and fostering relationships,” Sharina Sallis, community relations manager for CUNA Mutual Group, said in a news release. “The lending institutions must do their part and acknowledge that they have not always been intentional about creating relationships with marginalized populations that extend beyond ‘the teller-to-customer phase.’”

The initiative is a direct approach to address disparities highlighted by the 2018 24/7 Wall Street report that designated Waterloo/Cedar Falls as the worst place in the United States for African-Americans in terms of social and economic disparities. Two years later, the metro area ranks third.

For additional information, contact Robert Smith at or Joy Briscoe at To register for the financial literacy series, visit


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