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America can do better,
because America has no
choice but to do better

Thurgood Marshall

Former Supreme Court Justice

Sustainable, Economic Change.

The American College Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality

The American College Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality is committed to closing the wealth gap and promoting economic justice with collective, community-focused solutions that last.

The American College Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality

The Wealth Disparity is Real.

Underserved communities have faced institutional barriers to financial security and wealth for decades, leaving a significant gap between those benefiting from the current system, and those being left behind.



Whites inherit generational wealth at 3x the rate of Blacks.[1]



Whites participate in employer retirement plans at a 55% higher rate than Latinos.[1]



Whites are 2x more likely to own a home than Blacks.[1]



Disparities cost the U.S. an estimated $16 trillion in economic output since 2000.[2]

Blacks could boost GDP by $1.5 trillion through 2026.[3]

Latinos could make up 85% of the new U.S. workforce.[4]

Women could add $12 trillion to GDP through 2025.[5]


Solutions Must Integrate Community Needs with Business Goals.

THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, nonprofit organizations, corporate America, and government agencies must look at underserved communities as an investment, and focus on “doing well by doing good.” Pursuing this goal is a business imperative – with significant opportunity – as America readies to become a minority-majority nation by 2045.[6]

Intelligence to Uplift Potential Clients

Access to Potential Employees and Leaders

Opportunity to Grow Your Business

We Must Create a New Reality.

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THE AMERICAN COLLEGE CENTER FOR ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AND EQUALITY is the flagship center for research, thought leadership, curriculum and course development, programming, and scholarships aimed at closing the wealth gap and cultivating lasting relationships between financial services and all underserved groups.

Path-Breaking Research.

The Center will execute path-breaking research led by The American College of Financial Services’ faculty, researchers, and thought leaders and supported by industry partners in academics, financial services, and at all levels of government.


The Center will create initiatives and develop or refine products and services by convening partners across financial services, community and private foundations, and corporate America, and by meeting directly with the underserved groups we aim to impact. It’s a win-win opportunity for business and community collaboration.


By leaning on robust data and boots-on-the-ground evidence, The Center will measure success, as well as identify gaps and new opportunities quickly and efficiently. Impacting underserved communities is a dynamic process, and our approach will remain flexible and nimble.


Insular solutions built on contingent capital has failed in the past. By desiring both the financial and intellectual capital of our partners, The Center is committed to establishing a lasting infrastructure that supports sustainable, generational solutions.

Four Steps Forward for Black America.

THE CENTER'S APPROACH to create lasting change begins by tapping into the urgency to promote upward mobility and wealth building for Black women, financial services professionals, executive leaders, and communities across America.


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Financial Literacy for Black Women

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Black women are gatekeepers of their families and communities. They serve as a primary breadwinner for 68% of Black households[7] and make up 66% of Black baccalaureate degree holders.

[8] The Center proposes financial literacy programs targeted to Black women depending on life stage, profession, or interests and focused on building trust and addressing financial access, actions, and attitudes.

Recruiting and Training for Black Financial Professionals

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Black professionals experience challenges from lack of training, resources, and opportunities. While Blacks make up roughly 13% of America, they make up just 6.9% of financial advisors.[9] The Center will conduct research, focus groups, and firm-level assessments to provide blueprints to aid diversity initiatives and organize study groups with moderators to facilitate participation and data collection.

Executive Leadership Program for Black Leaders

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Blacks are 12% more likely than white professionals to indicate ambition, but just 31% have access to senior leaders at work.[10] The Center will create an executive leadership curriculum drawn from best-in-class instructional design and the insights of current Black executives. An adjacent executive track will help non-Black executive sponsors understand changing demographics and potential biases at work.

Collective Impact for Black Communities

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Census estimates show the percentage of Blacks will grow 34% by 2045.[11] With the minority fast becoming the majority, the Center will conduct robust research to understand key challenges and develop new pathways and will convene financial services leaders to develop or open access to products and services. The results must meet defined metrics and deliver sustainable outcomes. 



The Right Convener to Lead The Way.

FOR NEARLY A CENTURY, The American College of Financial Services has forged lasting partnerships with leading financial services companies. As the nation’s largest accredited, nonprofit institution devoted to applied financial knowledge and education, The College is positioned to make a lasting impact. Since its founding in 1927, The College has helped create generational wealth-building through the transfer of knowledge to advisors and the consumers they serve.

Delivers applied knowledge to 1-in-5 financial professionals

Engages a community of over 170,000 dedicated professional alumni

Over 20 years in distance online learning and e-learning



  /  April 7, 2021

Small Business Advisory Services in Diverse, Underserved Communities


  /  March 31, 2021

The American College of Financial Services and The Society for Financial Education & Professional Development Announce Partnership


  /  March 24, 2021

COVID Exacerbates Financial Planning Issues in Underserved Communities


  /  March 10, 2021

Considering Tax Reform in Context of Emerging Wealth Gaps


  1. Federal Reserve Board. 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances.
  2. Citi. Closing the racial inequality gaps. 09/01/2020.
  3. McKinsey & Company. The economic impact of closing the racial wealth gap. 08/13/2019.
  4. Peterson Institute for International Economics. 2019.
  5. McKinsey & Company. How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth. 09/01/2015.
  6. Brookings. The U.S. will become ‘minority white’ by 2045, Census projects. 03/14/2008. 
  7. Current Population Survey Data for Social, Economic, and Health Research. 2017.
  8. National Center of Education Statistics. Degrees conferred by race and sex. 2000-2016.
  9. MarketWatch. Three reasons you don't see many people of color in the financial services industry - and how to fix it. 07/08/2020.
  10. Coqual. Being Black in Corporate America. 06/2019.
  11. Census. Projections of the size and composition of the U.S. population. 2014 to 2060. 03/2015.