On February 24, 2022, Asset Funders Network hosted our second member-only virtual learning table: Youth Voice and Financial Empowerment. On December 2, 2021, Asset Funders Network hosted our first virtual learning table that surfaced some important themes framed this discussion on youth and financial security. We highlighted programs that are successfully supporting youth of color to achieve financial capability through: income generation strategies, financial products and services, and financial coaching and counseling that centers youth voices and personal narratives. Successful programs are not only working to better understand the specific financial needs of youth of color but also intentionally working to undo the persistent systemic barriers to financial empowerment, and centering youth voices. We heard from programs that are responding to a spectrum of need, from connection to disengagement, to address the financial needs of youth of color.

Discussion included:

  • What are the known challenges and systemic barriers to financial empowerment for youth of color: trust, debt, credit building, meeting basic needs? How does addressing these barriers uniquely inform your portfolio?
  • What are the best examples of programs recognizing and addressing youth mental health as a critical part of meeting post-pandemic challenges to financial empowerment?
  • What are the best examples of programs that highlight systems change that centers youth voices in their own financial empowerment?
  • What is the role for philanthropy in influencing policies and practices to meet the needs of youth of color?


Hiba Haroon, Senior Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Bridget Tate, Director of National Programs, Change Machine
Fahad Qurashi, Senior Director of Strategy, MyPath
Jonathan Barrata, Senior Associate, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund

Read their Bios


Economic Bill Of RYTS
Financial Capability and Asset Building with a Racial- and Gender-Equity Lens: Advances From the Field

From December:
Untapped Potential: Engaging All Connecticut Youth
The Connecticut Opportunity Project’s Key Performance Indicator for Measuring and Managing Program Capacity
Defining Moments: COVID-19, Family-of-Choice, and the Next Opportunities in Financial Equity in Chicago
This report from CFE Fund summarizing lessons learned in adding financial empowerment strategies (banking access and financial education) into Summer Youth Employment Programs