The racial wealth gap is something the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx and three other NBA clubs are now addressing through a new partnership focused on financial wellness with Stackwell, a Black-owned financial services technology company based in Washington. Boston. The partnership was announced late last month.
Stackwell introduced a new financial app in September aimed at Black Millennials, Generation Z’ers and others, designed to both educate and grow their wealth in the financial marketplace. Users can download it from the App Store and get started with a monthly subscription fee of $1 and a commitment to invest a minimum of $10. The application also has financial education tools for its users.
“Our insights have told us that one of the biggest contributing factors to African-American underinvestment in financial markets is actually [is] the heartache and anxiety,” Stackwell founder and CEO Trevor Rozier-Byrd said in a recent phone interview with MSR.
“It was really important that we get the product out to people in the community to help streamline that decision and help them gain access to a well-diversified portfolio that could give them market exposure that can help them grow and accumulate more wealth. overtime.”
White Americans on average have a median household wealth of more than $135,000, while black households have a median wealth of less than $13,000, according to a WalletHub study. A 2018 PolicyLink report assumed that racial equity in the US would be achieved if the median income of Blacks and other people of color increased by $18,000.
According to the Minnesota Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Twin Cities Disparities by Race Report, the metro area median household income was $77,034 in 2018, but the median Black household income was $36,047, more than $47,000 less than white households.
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, about 60% of American adults do not have financial education opportunities. Rozier-Byrd recalled that when he graduated from college in the mid-2000s, he wasn’t fully versed in financial markets or how they worked.
“I struggled with a lot of misperceptions like many people in our community,” he recalled. But once he invested and his investments began to grow, the Stackwell leader found that his anxiety slowly disappeared as his knowledge increased.
After several years working in corporate and legal areas, Rozier-Byrd founded Stackwell in September 2021. Now, a year later, her company is working with the Timberwolves and Lynx, along with Detroit, New Orleans and Washington, DC, “city that have extremely large concentrations of poverty,” Rozier-Byrd said.
“We wanted to be in the places where we can come together and authentically touch and drive impact for the communities we serve. We are really excited to partner with these different teams and provide access to opportunities and promote positive impact and change.”
“We were introduced to these people this summer,” explained Ryan Tanke, director of operations for Timberwolves and Lynx. He told MSR last week: “I think more than anything [we are] really inspired by the platform that they’re building, getting Black Minnesotans actively engaged in this mobile app experience that’s all about education and giving people the tools to get out there and invest.”
Additionally, local NBA/WNBA teams will host events at their practice facilities and partner with employers, social justice organizations and community groups during the upcoming Timberwolves season. The Stackwell brand will also be promoted during the games.
“The pandemic gave us this great opportunity to restart as an organization,” Tanke said. “I think that Covid gave us the opportunity to spend a lot of time re-evaluating our commitment within various communities.
“Part of that is leaning on different community efforts, whether it’s voting or different things. We’re just educating ourselves along the way to having the urgent need within this community, and then how the Timberwolves and Lynx organization can be a part of it.”
The cities’ longstanding racial wealth inequalities soon became a focus for local professional basketball teams, and partnering with a black-owned company to help address it was a no-brainer, the executive said.
“With Minneapolis being the city at the center of conversations” about racial change, Rozier-Byrd said, “we will have a series of [events] throughout the year where we are promoting financial education and training and education programs. We will certainly be in the market and really excited to reach a lot of people in the community.
“We are going to teach and we are going to help educate a generation around financial education.”
Charles Hallman is an award-winning sports columnist and contributing reporter for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.