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Community Services and Revitalization Newsroom

Louisville's First Financial Empowerment Summit is March 7

Tuesday March 5, 2013

Media Contact: Debbie Belt, 574-6587 (office)
303-6167 (cell)

Louisville's First Financial Empowerment Summit is March 7

Goal is providing more economic stability for families and neighborhoods

Louisville’s first Financial Empowerment Summit will bring together local and national speakers, community leaders, service providers, non-profits and financial institutions who are interested in helping local families become more financially stable.

The Summit is Thursday, March 7 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hotel Louisville, 120 W. Broadway. The event, organized by the Louisville Metro Department of Community Services and Revitalization, will include agencies such as the Louisville Urban League and the Family Scholar House, who are already incorporating financial empowerment into their programming, as well as those interested in learning more about this initiative. About 150 people are expected.

Financial Empowerment means increasing the capability of clients to make informed financial choices and encouraging them to work toward their financial goals. This includes expanding financial literacy and education opportunities to help people learn how to manage their money, covering needs today and setting aside what’s possible for the future.

Programs like Bank On Louisville, for example, are considered financial empowerment strategies, because they educate and encourage individuals and families who are unbanked or “under-banked” to use checking accounts, where they can avoid the kind of fees that are common with payday lenders and other check cashers. (Those fees can add up to $40,000 over a lifetime.)

“Louisville is proud of being one of 12 communities in the ‘Coalition of Cities for Financial Empowerment,’” said Mayor Greg Fischer, who will open the conference and discuss the importance of financial empowerment. “Whether encouraging residents to open checking accounts, as we do with Bank On Louisville, or working toward creating top quality jobs in every neighborhood, there are many things we can do, both big and small, to promote financial stability for our families.”

“We are thrilled to work with so many outstanding partners at this Summit to help educate and prepare our residents in building and securing their economic futures,” said Virginia Peck, director of Community Services and Revitalization, which is the social services provider for Metro Government. “When facing an increased demand for services, coupled with limited resources, agencies across the community are looking for ways to work together and create financial empowerment initiatives for our clients no matter what door they walk through.”

Featured speakers at the Summit include:

  • Clifford Rosenthal, Assistant Director, Office of Financial Empowerment with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will offer a national perspective on the importance of financial empowerment.
  • Jose' Cisneros, Treasurer, City of San Francisco, will speak on why cities and their residents should care about financial empowerment.
  • Dr. Gabriela Alcalde will moderate a discussion with Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt and Dr. Leslie Crofford about the health-wealth connection.
  • Whitney Bishop, Director, Southern Indiana Asset Building Coalition and Dr. Kathleen Cooter, Director, Bellarmine Center for Economic Education, will explore why financial empowerment and behavioral economics matter.
  • Maria Hampton, Regional Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Louisville Branch, and Ted Smith, Chief of Economic Growth and Innovation, Louisville Metro Government, discuss financial empowerment as an economic development strategy. Economic development is more than attracting and retaining businesses -- it is also about the financial stability and assets of residents.

In addition to Community Services and Revitalization (CSR), the Summit is sponsored by Living Cities, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Louisville Branch), Fifth Third Bank, Metro United Way, Bellarmine University, Louisville Asset Building Coalition, Southern Indiana Asset Building Coalition, and PNC Bank.

Living Cities, an innovative philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, provided funding for the Summit in addition to awarding a grant to CSR last spring, helping to create the “Money Talks” model. A panel of innovative homelessness service providers involved with the Money Talks model will present lessons learned including the common language developed around financial empowerment, and introduce the vision of a community-wide system.

For more information about the Summit, visit or call Alison Stuhl with Community Services and Revitalization at 502-574-5191.