In remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr., the Society of Black Student Social Workers  at Washington University’s Brown School will host the fifth annual “Financial Freedom Seminar: Recovering From the Recession, Reaching for the Future,” from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 22, in Brown and Goldfarb halls.

The seminar, free and open to the public, is designed for St. Louis community youth and adults interested in building wealth, repairing and maintaining good credit, purchasing a home or starting and expanding a business.

The FDIC recently reported that St. Louis has the highest percentage of unbanked African-American households in the entire country.

“This devastating statistic implies that many of our community members are not effectively being connected to quality, financial education resources,” said Jessica Eiland, the event’s co-chair, a society member and a Brown School graduate student.

Seminar participants will be able to choose two workshops to attend from among the following being offered:

Finance 101 Budget Basics; The Path to Homeownership; Credit 101; Saving & Investing: Debt Freedom; Your Credit Score: Back to the Future; How to Address a Financial Crisis at Home & What About Foreclosure; Starting and Sustaining a Small Business; Road to Retirement Security; and two youth workshops.

The seminar will begin with a keynote address by Yvonne Sparks, senior manager of community development for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

“On an even greater scale, countless families in the St. Louis area are looking for tangible solutions for managing their finances and overcoming the economic strain that has affected so many during this recession,” said co-chair Shellena Eskridge, also a society member and Brown School student.

To register, visit For questions, e-mail or call (314) 935-3466.

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