CHATHAM — For generations, economic inequality has played a major role in the lives of Black Americans, who are often shut out of opportunities for wealth building due to institutional racism.
Jahmal Cole hopes to change that. The My Block, My Hood, My City Founder, whose latest book, “It’s Not Regular,” was released earlier this month, wants to help South Side families “living in lack” get on the path of economic empowerment by helping them break the cycle of poverty and establish good financial habits.
With an assist from local Black-owned financial institution Seaway Bank, Cole will be hosting a special event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, at Currency Exchange, 8250 S. Cottage Grove Ave., to open 100 new bank accounts for individuals and families in need of a little help. Each new account holder will receive $100 to get them started.
Cole believes that banking is a better, more sustainable alternative to cashing checks at currency exchanges, where customers pay fees to access their own money and are sometimes treated like criminals, he told Block Club in a recent interview.
There will also be an opportunity to take financial literacy courses and receive a free CityKey card.
To volunteer for Saturday’s event, click here to sign up.