Report to the Congress on the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion
- Inclusion of Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Businesses
- Financial Literacy Activities
- Diversity Policies and Practices of Regulated Entities
Financial Literacy Activities
The Board is dedicated to enhancing economic and financial literacy. The financial literacy program provides educational programs and resources for educators and students through workshops, classroom curricula, and other resources related to concepts of economics and personal finance.
In April 2011, Chairman Ben Bernanke provided a statement for the record, for a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, in which he highlighted the importance of financial literacy to a stable and healthy economy. He also described some of the Federal Reserve System's efforts to help Americans make informed financial decisions. Specifically, the Chairman noted that exposing young people to financial concepts is particularly important and that the Federal Reserve is committed to helping teachers and schools work more effectively with students to develop financial literacy. For example, the Federal Reserve provides a financial and economic education website that features a variety of resources for teachers and students of various ages and knowledge levels.
The Board also participates in community outreach events and programs, examples of which are listed below.
- Financial Literacy Day on the Hill: The Board participated in the ninth annual "Financial Literacy Day on the Hill" on April 15, 2011, in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. and provided financial publications and education program information to participants.
- Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference: In September 2011, the Board sponsored a booth at the 41st Annual Legislative Conference. Financial education materials and information on how to access the System's public website for additional information regarding financial literacy were distributed to exhibit fair attendees.
- FedEd Program: During the summer of 2010, research assistants from divisions within the Board developed and implemented a program to work with local high-school students to improve understanding of personal financial subjects and the role of the Federal Reserve System in the economy. Subjects covered include budgeting, credit and the time value of money, and the importance of saving. Since the inception of the program, more than a dozen presentations have been made to middle- and high-school students in the Washington metropolitan area. The program is continuing in 2012 with an expanded focus on high schools with high minority and female student populations within the urban communities of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
- Education and Training Materials Distribution: During 2011, the Board provided financial literacy materials to the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP), a project of the Institute for Educational Leadership. RAMP is a high-tech, career-focused mentoring program being implemented by organizations across the country to promote employment and continued learning opportunities for underserved, at-risk youth. The Board provided training materials to PEN OR PENCIL: Writing a New History, a program developed by the National Alliance of Faith and Justice and the National CARES Mentoring Movement. The program's goal is to provide mentoring that will assist underserved youth in developing a keen and improved understanding of all aspects of financial literacy.
- The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy: The Board continues to partner with and serve on the Jump$tart Coalition Board of Directors. In its 15-year history, Jump$tart has brought visibility and--through its biennial survey of high-school seniors--research-based data to the financial literacy movement. Jump$tart is a Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit organization that seeks to improve the personal financial literacy of students in kindergarten through college. The Board plans to continue its partnership with the Washington, D.C. Jump$tart chapter.
- In the spring of 2012, Chairman Bernanke delivered a four-part lecture series at the George Washington University about the history of the Federal Reserve and its response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The series was live-streamed to the public and was available on the Board's public website.
Going forward, the Board is developing a strategic plan for continued implementation of the goals of section 342. The plan includes a proposal to convene a meeting of senior-level educators from the school systems in the Washington metropolitan area. The purpose of the meeting is to ascertain the goals of the respective school systems as related to expansion of financial education opportunities for the student population and to explore ways that the Board could add value and assist in achieving those goals. The Board will also pursue partnerships with financial education entities such as the Institute for Financial Literacy and the Council for Economic Education. Such partnerships will serve to enhance the Board's ability to develop and deliver the most meaningful financial education products to our partners and our community.
The Board will continue its outreach efforts and will continue to participate in conventions and seminars given by national groups such as the National School Boards Association.