Top Business Leaders Launch Movement to Embed Financial Literacy Into American Culture
“Financial Literacy for All” Initiative Includes Walmart, Disney, Bank of America, Walgreens, Delta Air Lines, NFL and NBA, Khan Academy, Operation HOPE and Ares Management
Recently, a prominent group of business, sports, entertainment, and nonprofit leaders are coming together today to launch “Financial Literacy for All,” a national initiative to support embedding financial literacy into American culture. This 10-year commitment will reach millions of youth and working adults enabling them to achieve greater financial success for themselves and their families.
The group of leaders initially engaged in this effort include Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart; Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company; Brian Moynihan, Chairman and CEO of Bank of America; Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens; Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines; Roger Goodell, Commissioner of NFL; Adam Silver, Commissioner of NBA; Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of the Khan Academy; Tony Ressler, Executive Chair of Ares Management and Principal Owner of the Atlanta Hawks; and John Hope Bryant, Chair and CEO of Operation HOPE. Messrs, McMillon and Bryant will serve as Co-Chairs of “Financial Literacy for All,” with expectation that the initiative will expand as additional organizations sign-on.
“I believe we are in a moment in history, where the public and private sector can join together to help every American reach their potential and fully participate in the greatest economy on earth,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder and CEO of Operation HOPE. “With this initiative, we are not just seeking to change America’s relationship with their finances, but to change their mindset on what they can accomplish. I began Operation HOPE 29 years ago with a vision that financial literacy can change the fortunes of those who are less fortunate. I am excited to launch this initiative and build on that vision – to embed financial literacy back into our culture, while truly engaging all of America where they learn, work and celebrate.”
“Financial well-being begins with good pay and benefits, but it also includes real opportunity for career growth and access to tools and resources that help manage daily financial needs, build greater financial resiliency and plan for retirement.” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “We’ve been raising wages for years and that will continue. In February, we announced raises for our 425,000 digital and stocking associates in our U.S. stores, and by the end of the fiscal year two-thirds of our U.S. store-level roles will be full-time with consistent schedules. We are providing innovative digital tools that help associates, at all income levels, manage their daily cash flow and build savings. Through our 401(k) and Associate Stock Purchase Program, both with company match, we’re helping associates plan and save for their future. All these efforts are supported by robust learning resources to help associates with effective money management, financial planning and protection, savings and investment strategies. We are inspired by Operation Hope’s vision and look forward to collaborating with other major employers to discover new and better ways to support and engage our associates along their individual financial well-being journey.”
Underscoring the need for financial literacy, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s current Investor Education Foundation survey found that only one-third of U.S. residents surveyed could answer basic questions about interest rates, financial risk and mortgage rates—down by nearly one-quarter from 2009. In addition, the cost of financial illiteracy to U.S. citizens is estimated to be $415 billion for 2020, according to a recent study by National Financial Educators Council.
Given the importance and societal impact of financial literacy and with a goal to expand people’s access to opportunities, these organizations are acting now—leveraging their collective innovative and creative expertise as well as their daily interaction with millions of employees, clients, customers and suppliers to spur a national movement of financial capability. This alignment of vision and mission is supported by:
- Making financial literacy easier to understand and generating public awareness of its importance by directly connecting with working adults.
- Providing targeted outreach to middle and high school students as well as those attending community college and 4-year universities with innovative outreach and existing “Best Practices.”
Specific steps include promotion of a recently launched educational video series from Walmart that will reach more than a million of its associates; all 80,000 Delta people in the US will have access to in-person and/or virtual Operation HOPE coaches and curriculum starting July 12; and Bank of America will expand access to its award-winning Better Money Habits® platform.
Additionally, the following have or will occur in the near future:
- On June 3rd, The Disney Institute convened a group of leaders from each of the Founding Partners for a virtual conference to examine historical approaches to financial literacy, share their experiences and outline an actionable vision for the future.
- Announce the first wave of partnering organizations joining as signatories.
- Provide a Resource Directory of nonprofits and agencies currently offering best-in-class resources in the financial literacy space.
To follow the progress and expansion of “Financial Literacy for All,” please visit FL4A.org.