Key Takeaways from the 2016 Natural Urban League Conference #SaveOurCities

By Andy Hayes


As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that underprivledged groups have access to smart financial wisdom, two of the Calculate My Wealth team members attended this year’s National Urban League Conference.

This year’s conference was filled with inspirational content from a wide variety of speakers, from entrepreneurs to current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  Here’s a summary of some of our favorite takeaways from CMW staffer Miranda Marquit.

Key Takeaways from Women, Wealth, Relationships

MC Lyte,  female hip-hop artists of all time, and Lynn Richardson, financial coach, gave a compelling expo hall session on wealth and money mindset.

One of the great takeaways from this session was the “purse test”, which states that if your purse shouldn’t cost more than the cash you have in your purse. Have $20 in your purse? You shouldn’t buy a $200 handbag.


Also, we enjoyed discussing the concept of “right-sizing” instead of down-sizing. You aren’t down-sizing, you’re adjusting your lifestyle and expectations to reflect what you can actually afford.

A couple of other tweetable moments:
  • “Poor people act rich in front of other poor people”
  • “It’s all about understanding the money game.” Get educated about money.

Key Takeaways from Edward Jones Entrepreneurship Panel


Small business was a large topic of the event, perhaps rightly so as entrepreneurship is less prevalent in minority groups.  If we had to summarize this session into three key points, they would be:

Mental toughness is essential to successful entrepreneurship.

Focus on the journey, rather than the destination. Even if you don’t hit all of your marks, you’ll still be better off than you were before.

Relationships are important for business. Invest in yourself and building your network.


Key Takeaways and Resources from the Color of Money Panel on Culture, Family, and Money


This was an excellent panel that addressed a number of topics that need to be discussed.  These two statistics shared highlight why this conversation is needed:
  • 70% of African-Americans feel that money is private and shouldn’t be talked about.
  •  40% of African-Americans wish they had learned about money when they were young, and that their parents had talked about it with them.
Important to understand the unique things that contribute to the way you handle money so you know how to change for the better.

Individual purpose influences the changes you make.

Another thing you can do is talk about working on one goal. This is an idea from Wells Fargo and has its own hashtag: #colorofmoney16

The session also referenced a great documentary, Black Heirlooms, which addresses inter-generational wealth problems and estate planning.  It’s free to watch on YouTube!

Key Takeaways from Janelle Monae 

Actress, model, and music star Janelle Monae made an appearance at #SaveOurCities.  Some powerful nuggets from her thoughtful conversation:

The circumstance you’re in right now doesn’t have to be your future.

Sometimes you have to let go. If something isn’t working, maybe you weren’t meant for it.

“Choose freedom over fear.”

Key Takeaways from the Money, Power, Respect session

Lastly, this session was focused on the concept of turning entrepreneurial dreams into viable businesses. Three key takeaways:

Access to capital is one of the biggest challenges facing millennials, especially POC, when starting a business.

Goal of employers is to keep you employed by having you think your success depends on them. It depends on you, and you benefit them.

Technology has opened up boundaries and offered new opportunities to start businesses and make money.