Claudia Walker is an educator paving the way to ensure financial literacy is accessible to children.
Before Claudia Walker entered the education field, she worked on Wall Street as a financial analyst. The educator and Spelman grad would often share with students her experience working in the money capital of America and attending a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Claudia Walker quickly noticed an unsettling trend, many students were not exposed to finance or HBCUs. Aiming to resolve the knowledge gap, she launched publishing company HBCU Prep School in 2020, to normalize the world of investing and higher education.
“Oftentimes when I ask my students about investing their response is, ‘Oh, that’s something rich people do.’ I want to dispel that myth, and the notion that investing is something that cannot happen or should not happen within the Black community,” Claudia Walker told AfroTech.
She continued: “That has been my mission in all the work that I have done within education. I want to normalize investing within the community and give my students age-appropriate information and spark conversations that help them recognize they can be investors, even if they are still in high school. There are conversations they can start having with their families that open up those lines of communication around building generational wealth.”
The ABCs Of Black Wall Street
To financially empower the youth, Claudia Walker unveiled “The ABCs Of Black Wall Street” coloring book and board book in January 2022.
The book variations transport you to the untold stories of Tulsa’s Greenwood District. You will learn about historic innovators, activists, entrepreneurs, and establishments of one of the wealthiest Black communities.
“I wanted to write a story that gave life to activists, leaders, entrepreneurs, and the families that lived in this amazing community,” Walker told AfroTech. “When I talk to students about finances and investing, they do not see that within their community. The story of Black Wall Street is an amazing example of community members coming together, not just for their good, or the good of their family, but for the good of an entire community and for generations to come.”
Walker hopes “The ABCs Of Black Wall Street” will serve as a launchpad for educators and parents to teach the youth that Black Wall Street can still be created today within their communities.
Walker Gifts Free Stocks To Black Children
While launching “The ABCs Of Black Wall Street,” Walker was inspired to capture the spirits of trailblazers who resided in the Greenwood community. The 15-year educator wanted to give Black children in underbanked communities an early start in their financial literacy journey by distributing free stocks.
Community members, teachers, and parents entered to receive the stock on the child’s behalf. The recipients — which were announced in early January — ranged from eight-months-old to the age of six.
Walker hopes the stocks will normalize wealth-building within Black families and their communities.
“My prayer is that ‘The ABCs Of Black Wall Street’ starts conversations about wealth-building, agency, and investing,” Walker said. “Then over the years, those children will be able to look back and say, ‘Oh, this was a gift my grandmother or my mom gave to me.’ That is how we start to normalize it. Over time they will look at their financial portfolio and see that it has grown over time, so when their birthday comes instead of just asking for the latest model of a toy, they will ask people to also contribute to their investment portfolio. That is my hope.”