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Freeport-Roosevelt NAACP to get $4,000 grant for financial program

Douglas Mayers, president of the Freeport Roosevelt NAACP

Douglas Mayers, president of the Freeport Roosevelt NAACP chapter. Credit: Newsday, 2006

The Freeport-Roosevelt NAACP unit is one of 21 nationally to receive $4,000 grants, underwritten by two major banks, in an expanded program to provide personal finance information and assistance to historically disadvantaged communities, the national civil rights group has announced.

Dedrick Muhammad, senior director for economic programs of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said Wells Fargo and Bank of America will contribute unspecified amounts of money along with expertise to the expansion of its Financial Freedom Center program, which began in April in partnership with Wells Fargo and is aimed at influencing change in the banking industry to prevent unfair mortgage lending practices, protect communities against predatory mortgage lending practices, improve fair credit access and promote sustainable home ownership, financial education and wealth building strategies.

The expansion, called the Financial Freedom Center Satellite Program, is to provide education and assistance at the community level.

Muhammad said a request for proposals was sent during the summer to all 1,200 NAACP units nationally, to which about 75 replied and from which 21 units, including Freeport-Roosevelt, were chosen in June.

Representatives of the units chosen were brought to Washington on the weekend of Sept. 24 and 25 for orientation and training, he said.

The grants are for workshops to be held over a one-year period on topics ranging from money management and credit to home preservation, mortgage foreclosure prevention services and mortgage lending services through partnerships with community groups in their local areas.

“We’re looking at expanding the program so we can bring in some new units for the second year and keep some of the units that are doing it for the first year,” Muhammad said in an interview Monday.

Douglas Mayers, above left, president of the Freeport Roosevelt group, said Monday he hadn’t yet been briefed on specifics of how the program will work in his area.

The NAACP said other partners in the group’s economic program include the National Foundation on Credit Counseling; the Financial Planning Association®; the National Council on Aging; NeighborWorks America; the Center for Responsible Lending; Operation Hope; the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Capital Area Asset Builders; Common Security Club; Federal Trade Commission; National Community Reinvestment Coalition; U.S. Labor Department; United for a Fair Economy; the Center for American Progress; the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights; the National Urban League; and the National Council of La Raza.

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