Black Diamonds Presents: Starting, Saving, Spending
On March 25, 2021, The Black Diamonds program hosted a virtual event called Starting, Saving, and Spending for Tri-C students who wanted to start learning about the basics of finances and prepare for success in the real world. These types of events are important, not only because they show that Tri-C truly does everything they can to prepare students for life, but also because many people do not learn things like financial literacy in the classroom. It is a critical life skill that is often overlooked. Managing debt, credit, and budgeting is something that everyone needs to know about, but unfortunately, many people have to learn about it the hard way. Black Diamonds works to expand opportunities for Black women and other women of color, through educational and other opportunities, although this event was open to all students. The three panelists for the event were Chandra Arthur, as the host, and Lydia Pope and Hazana Rivers as the presenters.
Lydia Pope works in real estate and holds a high position in her company. She also works with a nonprofit doing community outreach. She does not only have a thriving career, she is a mom to four kids and wife to a pastor. As a Tri-C graduate, she says she wishes that the Black Diamonds program had existed when she was younger because it’s such a great resource.
Hazana Rivers has had over 20 years of experience in her field, and currently works at Hylant as a Client Executive. Both women are very accomplished and impressive.
The topics that were covered during their presentation include building credit, budgeting money, and investing in and purchasing real estate. They discussed the importance of using a housing counselor so that you can have all the information that you need to succeed in buying a home. This can help people save money and make good choices when purchasing real estate. It’s a common narrative for young people to be graduating from college and yet still not know much about finances. They emphasized how important it is to be a good manager of your own money, because that’s how wealth builds over time. Real estate investing was also highlighted as a good way to grow wealth. Ms. Rivers discussed her own successful endeavor of “flipping” a house, which means buying an old house then making a profit by fixing it up and selling it.
Ms. Pope went into some of the specifics of credit scores, how important they are, and how to keep them high. Ms. Rivers discussed methods of protecting your finances through different kinds of insurance. Many participants engaged throughout the meeting asking different questions and commenting. The material covered was in-depth and very involved, but it was all explained well. Education was also emphasized as an important aspect of building wealth and learning how to teach financial literacy to your children is just as important as being knowledgeable yourself.
Not only did this event provide valuable information for Tri-C students to have successful futures, it also helped to promote Tri-C’s atmosphere of social equity and justice. Learning about financial literacy from Black women leaders in the Cleveland community was not only educational, but empowering. Here is the link to the Black Diamonds Tri-C homepage for those who want to learn more about them and what they do: https://www.tri-c.edu/student-life/black-diamonds/index.html