African American businesses are growing, thanks to many inspiring leaders! A study by the Guardian showed minority-owned businesses grew 400% in 2018. With that comes more opportunity to support these businesses and learn how the African American community is making an impact in finance.
February is Black History Month — and we’ve compiled a list of African American financial influencers to showcase and honor some of the most impressive African Americans who are helping to change the financial outlook for minorities and the industry as a whole.
Rianka R. Dorsainvil and Lazetta Rainey Braxton
Rianka R. Dorsainvil, CFP® and Lazetta Rainey Braxton MBA, CFP® are both Co-Founders and Co-CEOs 2050 Wealth Partners, a virtual, fee-only financial planning and wealth management firm. They specialize in helping professionals, business owners, first-generation wealth builders, as well as those looking to protect their wealth reach their financial goals.
Rianka R. Dorsainvil is a millennial, Certified Financial Planner and sought-after speaker. She’s a member of CNBC’s Digital Financial Advisor Council and CFP Board’s Diversity Advisory Group. She has been published in Black Enterprise, CNBC, Financial Advisor, ThinkAdvisor, MarketWatch, US News & World Report, among many others.
In 2018, Rianka R. Dorsainvil launched her very own podcast titled 2050 TrailBlazers. The podcast discusses the lack of diversity within financial planning and regularly features industry experts.
Lazetta Rainey Braxton is a Certified Financial Planner and financial expert that believes everyone should have access to quality, financial planning tools. She has appeared as a commentator on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Nightly Business Report, and CNBC’s Closing Bell. She is also a member of the CNBC Digital Financial Advisor Council and regularly contributes to the WSJ Experts blog.
Reverend Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr.
Soaries makes our list because of his long history of advocating for the Black community.
In his life, he has served in government, earned multiple degrees, including 6 doctorates, authored books, and in 2005 started the Financial Freedom Movement dfree ®.
The faith-based program shows Black communities how to break free from debt and build wealth with all detailed in 12 guided steps.
While enrolled in dfree®, members receive financial and spiritual coaching. The program has been transformational for people struggling with finances, families looking for guidance, and has even fostered growth for entire communities.
In the past year, dfree® has chosen to work with partners who share their philosophy, and we’re one of them! All dfree® members can use what they have learned in the program and translate it to their banking. Together with dfree®, MoneyLion’s banking products can help you get out of debt, raise your credit, and most importantly build wealth over time.
Michelle Singletary is an award-winning columnist and financial expert. She regularly discusses personal finance solutions as well as financial current events.
Michelle is the author of The Color of Money, a financial column that appears in The Washington Post and numerous other newspapers. She is also the author of three books, titled The 21 Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Free, Spend Well, Live Rich: How to Live Well With the Money You Have, and Your Money and Your Man: How You and Prince Charming Can Spend Well and Live Rich.
Michelle has also provided personal financial advice on numerous television networks, including NBC, ABC and CBS. She has appeared on The Oprah show, NBC’s “Today Show,” CBS’ “The Early Show,” “Nightline” on CNN, “The View,” “Meet The Press,” the “Travis Smiley Show” on PBS among others.
Marcus Garrett and Rich Jones
Marcus Garrett and Rich Jones are both co-hosts of the personal finance, career, and overall lifestyle podcast titled Paychecks and Balances. Together, Marcus and Rich aim to educate young adults on critical personal finance and career strategies. They regularly invite guests to talk about how to achieve financial independence.
Rich Jones is an Internal Communications & Change Management Specialist at Google and spends his free time podcasting about financial wellness. His background includes working in human resources and building online brands. In 2018, Rich became 100% debt free and is passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals.
Marcus Garrett is a motivational speaker and author of D.E.B.T. Free or Die Trying: How I Buried Myself $30,000 in Debt and Dug My Way Out. His background is as a Certified Internal Auditor, Financial and Data Analyst. Today, he is dedicated to helping millennials make money, save money, and get out of debt.
Tonya Rapley is a millennial money expert and founder of My Fab Finance – an award winning personal finance blog that provides people with strategies to get out of debt and build wealth. She is also the creator of the #BanishTheBalance challenge, which has helped over 4,000 people eliminate over $200,000 of debt in just 60 days.
When Tonya isn’t blogging about financial tips and tricks, she’s a regular consultant for some of the biggest names in finance, including Fidelity Investments, Prudential, the National Endowment for Financial Education and more.
She’s also a regular speaker on major news networks such as Bloomberg, Essence Fest, Millennial Week, PepsiCo, the Blogging While Brown Conference, BlogHer, Circle of Sisters.
Most recently, Tonya has taken it upon herself to change the way students pay for college. With the launch of her FinTech app, FOAM, users are able to raise money for college and other living expenses.
Anthony O’Neal is a best-selling author and financial guru. His books, including #1 national bestseller Debt-Free Degree and national bestseller The Graduate Survival Guide aim to help teens and young adults make smart decisions about their education and financial habits.
His most recent book, Destroy Your Student Loan Debt is a must-read guide for any adults looking to pay off their student loans faster and get out of debt.
Anthony O’Neal has had personal experience struggling to get a hold of his financials and become debt-free. Nowadays, his books, website resources, and video content are dedicated to helping teens and young adults get a head start on their finances.
Find Your African-American Financial Guru
If you are looking to get educated about finance or more specifically on black finance, start by following some of these financial leaders. They have a lot to teach and motivate you! You can also opt to start working in one of the financial literacy courses offered by dfree®.
One of the core messages from all of these financial leaders is community. Make this year the year you dive deep into getting on top of your finances and spreading what you have learned to the people around you and learning from them.