It’s a phrase they use with the goal of reaching as many African Americans as possible—and to increase financial literacy and inspire more black people to invest in the stock market and consider entrepreneurship.
The popularity and appeal of the event was due in large part to a financial literacy podcast that debuted in 2019 – and is growing in audience and impact in a lesser space.
So far, EYL, as it’s called online, has garnered over 60 million views and over 900,000 subscribers with its weekly shows focused on educating and empowering minorities.
“We started it with teenagers and so we quickly realized that there is no age limit to financial literacy and now we are really focusing on whether it is financial flow, right? We call wealth. want to be fluent in this language,” said Millings. “And so it’s always been grassroots and people have always said they relate to us because it’s so digestible.”
a financial revolution
While the national unemployment rate is the lowest in recent history, the unemployment rate for black Americans is almost double the national rate.
Many in the black community feel under-represented when it comes to their economic portfolio and ability to obtain capital to start a business.
“For a long time in our community, we aspired to be entertainers and athletes because those people seemed attainable because they looked like us, they dressed like us, and we really knew them,” Bilal said. told CNN during the program.
“We knew someone in our neighborhood who made it to the NBA, made it to the NFL,” he said. “Now, they can have the same aspiration because they have the entrepreneurial identity (can identify with them) and say, ‘Okay, I can really do this. I can do Web 3.0, I can mortgage ‘I can stock up because I know that person, if I don’t know, I think I know him, and it’s now something I can aspire to be.
Last month, a sold-out three-day Invest Fest event in downtown brought together more than 12,000 African Americans to learn about investing and entrepreneurship, among other topics. The crowd was drawn to renowned speakers such as Tyler Perry, Steve Harvey, Don Peebles and a long list of other successful moneymakers who helped carry the message of financial growth.
“We realized early on that there is no age limit to financial literacy and we are not really focusing on this financial flow, right? We want to be fluent in this language called wealth. And so it is always the grassroots level. and people have always said they relate to us because it’s so digestible,” Millings said.
Real-estate entrepreneur Matt Garland says the future lies in direct investment in the black community.
“We need access to capital so this administration and future administrations and even local politicians. We’re tired of being inspired. We’re tired of clickbait type speeches. We want action, we need action.” We demand action, we need it now,” Garland said.
“We need to figure out how we can really attack from the highest level and build our own venture capital funds and do our own private equity firms and international business,” Bilal said. “And then we don’t really need to demand politicians do anything. We can force them to work…”
19 Keys, another member of the EYL Network, believes that their podcast audience is paying attention because the information is directed in a way that their listeners think is important to the changing economy.
“The black community has an already existing pipeline in prison, but no money,” Keys said. “Poor people vote for the rich people who lobby at the end of the day. If we want to do something, we have to vote with our dollars, but we don’t have dollars until we get an education and then whose They have education, they have to work in a collective sense where we really have to organize.”
“The wealth disparity between blacks and whites was greater in 2018 than in 1968,” Don Peoples, one of the richest black people in the country, told CNN. “Everything we do needs to focus on opportunities to grow financially.”
Peeples, whose real estate company controls $7 billion in investments, said the Biden administration should focus on direct investments.
“We are also entrepreneurs, we have the same dreams and aspirations as everyone else. And I think it is important because we can best serve ourselves, we can solve some systemic problems in our communities if we have a Fair system and a fair economic system,” the Peoples said.
CNN’s Devon M. Sayers contributed to this report.