Black women building a wealth of friendships and finances

Black Women’s Wealth Alliance open house August 12. (Chris Juhn/MSR News)

“A Nation Can Rise No Higher Than Its Woman.” This is the first thing you will read when you visit the website for the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance (BWWA). The Black Women’s Wealth Alliance was created in 2014 as the Minnesota’s first Black Women owned public benefit organization. According to their website, the BWWA team brings over 40 years of community wealth building knowledge, strategies and networks.

What exactly is Black Women’s Wealth Alliance? They are an organization working to build a Black women’s collective. According to the website, the Wise (Wealth, Innovation, and Strategic Education) Network is a shared learning and building space for historical Black women of America, direct descendants of enslaved Africans in America. The network provides a range of opportunities to learn about the wealth, skills, cooperative concepts, tools and strategies that build on personal and generational wealth.

On Saturday, August 12, the BWWA held its grand opening/open house. The hallways of 1200 West Broadway were lined with an array of Black women and more than a few men showing support. Leading the grand opening were Executive Director Kenya McKnight Ahad, Director of Operations Julie Gartrell, and board members Dr. Rose Brewer and Kamillah El-Amin. In 2016,  BWWA hosted a Goal Diggers Seminar featuring presenters such as Chanda Smith Baker, Karla Smith, DeAnna Cummings, and the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder’s very own, Tracey Williams-Dillard.

 

Black Women’s Wealth Alliance open house August 12. (Chris Juhn/MSR News)

 

At the open house celebration, Ahad made sure to tell all women in attendance, that all women are ‘Queen Bs. This was the official BWWA pledge, led by Ahad, and read aloud by the attendees:

“Every woman is the queen of her own world. It is important that we respect and honor the queendom of each other. Each of us has value, purpose, and are important to who we are. Together as queens, we are a collective ‘Queen B.’ By upholding the values that each queen brings to the table, we are able to yield our power collectively to advance ourselves, our families, and our community.”

Ahad added, “This is the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance’s ‘Queen B’ theory and that is our pledge. I am just a ‘B’ in her place circulating around other ‘Bs.” Everyone laughed; they seemed to understand that there is a lot of room in the community “hive” for more than one or two queens.

BWWA Executive Director Kenya McKnight Ahad (Chris Juhn/MSR News)

Along with the festive energy, the food, beverages and desserts were enjoyable for all. If the BWWA is trying to unify Black Women of America, starting with the local communities, the open house was a fantastic start to what is sure to come.

Plans for BWWA include a Let’s Talk about Wealth Luncheon Series on Social Impact Investing kicking off August 26 from 12-2:30 pm, and upcoming classes in Business Training and Support starting January 2018. The classes focus on cooperative economics. Visit www.bwwa-us.com or Facebook/BlackWomen’sWealthAlliance for more information.

 

Brandi D. Phillips welcomes reader responses to bphillips@spokesman-recorder.com.