“What do you think of when I say economic justice?” members of Mission SF’s youth program, New Era, asked our interns at a recent workshop. At first, they weren’t sure what to think. However, by the end of the hour and a half workshop, interns had quite a bit to say on the topic.
The group led SF YouthWorks interns through a number of activities beginning with an exploration of the uneven distribution of wealth in this country. From there, they explained various types of financial institutions, breaking down the differences between banks and credit unions. A large chunk of the workshop focused on predatory financial services and lenders, such as check cashing services. Not only did the youth presenters encourage our interns to avoid these types of financial institutions, but they also exposed how these institutions target and exploit the poor.
Interns left the workshop not only better able to make smart choices about their personal finances, but also with a better understanding of the larger social justice issues surrounding the financial industry in the US.