Teri Williams, owner of OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in America, and author of “I Got Bank,” encourages young folks to enter this year’s contest.
Q: Why did you write “I Got Bank: What my Granddad taught me about money”?
A: I wrote this book because there are so few books written on financial literacy for children. It was important to me to create a children’s book about money especially for our community. Why not start teaching financial literacy at a young age? I always say if a child reads this book, they’ll be rich adults and gain the skills necessary to create generational wealth for lifetimes to come. All the rules of “the system” are covered in a way that a child can understand, retain and put to immediate use.
Q: Tell us about the “I Got Bank” Youth Essay and Art Competition.
A: My book was the inspiration for the competition. We’ve presented this incredible opportunity for urban youth for the past nine years, and it only gets better and better. Children age 8 to 12 are encouraged to read any children’s financial literacy book (it can be mine or any other) then write a 250-word essay or create a piece of art based on what was learned in the book. We read all entries and whittle it down to 10 essays or art and the winners receive a $1,000 savings account. Deadline for entries is June 29, 2019 – more information at www.oneunited.com/book.
Q: OneUnited has presented this competition for nine years. How has it changed over the years?
A: The response to this competition continues to grow and I couldn’t be happier about that. We get entries from all over the country every year and the essays and art are so great, it’s a tough task to pick just 10. We have learned that our kids are brilliant when given the opportunity to express themselves about money, and it’s made even more special with the chance to earn $1,000 just for reading a book
Q: Tell us about the Bank Black Movement.
A: Killer Mike sparked the Bank Black Movement almost three years ago when several Black men were killed at the hands of law enforcement. He urged that in addition to protests and marches in response to these murders, Black America should move their money to one of the 19 Black owned banks, even if it was just $100.
What Killer Mike knows is it’s always about the money. Follow the money! The challenge caught on and Black America has responded with over $50 million being moved to Black-owned banks since the movement began in summer 2016. Black-owned banks are more likely to hire Black people and provide loans to the Black community, so it makes sense to #BankBlack and #BuyBlack.