Those who came before found their greatness, so you can rise up to find yours.
Every February, people across America come together to celebrate Black History Month. It’s a time for a collective journey of paying reverence to the many powerful contributions made by African Americans everywhere. Honoring our shared history is one way we can remember that we believe in freedom and democracy for all.
Money is a cornerstone of freedom, and we all deserve a better life today and tomorrow. Black History Month also reminds us that we have a long way to go when it comes to an equitable future for minorities everywhere. Voya offers support and tools to help you achieve your financial goals.
We want all Americans to live free and retire well. While you read the remarkable stories and Voya’s quest to support diversity, equity, inclusion and financial wellness we want you to remember, with freedom comes responsibility. So be sure to love more, respect more, do more and save more — for you, your family and the next generation of greatness yet to come.
There is a wealth gap in America¹
Wealth accumulation generally follows a predictable life cycle arc, wherein families generally accumulate wealth during their working years, in preparation for retirement. White families often have more access than Black or Latino families to workplace retirement plans, which also plays a role in the following disproportionate mean family wealth.¹,²
Read about these amazing African American pioneers
Create your own legacy
It’s clear, the many who came before taught us that having a determined goal with applied consistent action can lead to amazing possibilities. You can create your own legacy by learning the steps you need to take on your financial wellness journey.
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Origins of Black History Month
Black History Month began in 1926 when Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an African American, promoted Negro History Week in February, and Kent State University first observed it in 1970. In 1976, Black History Month (BHM) became a national month-long holiday celebration when President Gerald Ford recognized “the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history” in a speech to mark the U.S. Bicentennial.
BHM also coincides with National Freedom Day (NFD), which is the day that President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery on Feb. 1, 1865. Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, believed that freedom for all Americans should have a designated day. NFD is intended to promote harmony and equal opportunity among all citizens and to remember that ours is a nation devoted to the ideal of freedom.
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- Wealth is defined as the difference between families' gross assets and their liabilities.
Figure 1. White families have more wealth than Black, Hispanic, and other or multiple race families in the 2019 SCF.
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