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Financial education series pushes back on historic wealth disparity

MEDIA CONTACT: Cody Hefner (513) 608-5777,

Freedom Center, First Financial Bank, African American Chamber collaborate on free four-part series

CINCINNATI – The National Underground Railroad Freedom CenterFirst Financial Bank and the African American Chamber of Commerce announced a year-long collaboration to increase financial knowledge and address implicit bias for small business owners. The four-part series will leverage the expertise of First Financial Bank to bridge the financial knowledge gap created by centuries of systemic racism. The free sessions will cover topics including credit, taxes, business planning and funding sources. Space is limited so registration is required.


Financial education plays an important role in adult success, both personally and professionally, but few schools include it in their curriculum. Historically, that education and training has been reserved for the wealthy, which, due to a history of wealth disparity built on systemic racism in this country, often means predominantly white individuals. The Freedom Center, First Financial Bank and the African American Chamber of Commerce are working to provide more equitable access to financial education that will help individuals, families and businesses in the community thrive.

“Financial expertise is a critical component to addressing the wealth disparity in this country,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president & COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “By providing small business owners with better experiences, resources and tools, we can take real steps to close the wealth gap and start a new legacy of equal opportunity. First Financial Bank and the African American Chamber of Commerce are helping provide the needed resources to begin to address that divide in our community.”

The Freedom Center joins the expansion of First Financial Bank’s financial education programs, which help individuals achieve financial stability and reach their personal financial goals. The joint initiative is part of First Financial Bank’s intent to be woven into the communities it serves. That includes providing financial education and support for economically disadvantaged individuals and families.

“Helping our communities and neighbors thrive, especially through financial education, is very important to us at First Financial Bank. We exist to be a positive influence so it is tremendously rewarding to be part of this collaboration and the success of others,” said Roddell McCullough, First Financial Bank’s chief corporate responsibility officer.

The four-part series will cover various financial needs specific to small business owners through in-person sessions from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including a networking lunch. Each program is free but space is limited so registration is required. Register at via the Events tab.

Session 1: Personal vs. Business Credit
Thursday, January 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
African American Chamber of Commerce
2303 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati OH 25206

Session 2: Business Planning Essentials
Thursday, April 27, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati OH 45202

Session 3: Taxes: Understanding & Filing Business Taxes
Thursday, July 27, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
First Financial Bank
601 Madison Avenue, Covington KY 41011

Session 4: Securing Funding, Personal Funding, Fundraising and Sponsorship Grants
Thursday, October 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati OH 45202

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