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Printed from the Charlotte Observer - www.CharlotteObserver.com
Posted: Sunday, Jun. 24, 2012

Finance workshops come to JCSU

By Karen Sullivan
Published in: News of University City
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    Starting a business? Want to get out of debt or avoid foreclosure? Free workshops will focus on these and other topics, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. June 30 at Johnson C. Smith University, 100 Beatties Ford Road.


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    An association of financial planners will gather in Charlotte on June 27-30 for an annual meeting and a chance to energize its ranks.

    While the Urban Financial Services Coalition’s international summit is in town, its members want to let others into their world of wealth-building, small-business planning and money management.

    The coalition’s 2012 Community Empowerment Day will bring free financial workshops to Johnson C. Smith University on June 30, the last day of the coalition’s summit.

    “There’s always been a need for financial literacy,” said Christy Bryant, the coalition’s program manager for the event.

    The Urban Financial Services Coalition, formerly known as the National Association of Urban Bankers, is an organization of minorities in the financial services industry and related fields.

    Its community empowerment events follow its annual summit from location to location each year.

    The coalition’s partners in Charlotte will include SCORE, a nonprofit that helps small businesses get off the ground; the Center for Financial Empowerment; the local chapter of the Financial Planning Association; and Community Link, which helps individual and families find safe, decent affordable housing.

    Other partners include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Wells Fargo Bank.

    Workshops at the event will focus on strategies for building wealth, starting a business, reducing debt, estate planning and foreclosure prevention.

    “The mortgage meltdown has brought to light that a lot of folks didn’t understand the products they were getting,” Bryant said.

    The coalition’s local chapter has undergone dramatic changes as a result of consolidations within the banking industry that were brought on by mergers and losses tied to complex mortgage products.

    The coalition’s Charlotte Chapter saw its membership drop dramatically, from about 65 members in the early 2000s to fewer than 10 today.

    “Charlotte is a banking community,” Bryant said.

    Bringing the summit to Charlotte is a strategy for strengthening the chapter. Community Day workshops are an opportunity to let others benefit from expertise within the industry, Bryant said.

    “It really is community empowerment,” Bryant said. “It is providing resources free to the public so they can make their lives better.”

    Sullivan: 704-358-5532; Twitter: @Sullivan-obs

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