NEW YORK, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Urban League has announced the 2004 return of the well-received economic empowerment program, Know Your Money(TM). Introduced two years ago by Altria Group, Inc. in partnership with the National Urban League, the curriculum-based program is designed to strengthen the economic foundation of African-American communities and bring about a systemic change in attitudes about money and money management. The National Urban League will be spearheading the program this year, with classes to again be held in the host cities of Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; St. Louis, MO and Washington, D.C. NBA Hall Of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson served as national spokesperson for the Program in years one and two. Local spokespersons for this year's program have not yet been identified. "The National Urban League's 2001 State of Black America study reported that young African American professionals view economic empowerment as a priority," said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League. "A critical part of that process is to understand and practice the principles of sound money management. For more than two years now, Know Your Money has provided the essential knowledge, foundation and tools that will enable our community to begin to chart a sound financial future." The 2004 Know Your Money courses will begin in September in most markets, and will be implemented by local National Urban League Young Professionals (NULYP) chapters in each city. The program was developed in response to extensive research commissioned by Altria and conducted among African- American business leaders, community activists, media and professionals, which identified economic empowerment as a leading community issue. "The continued enthusiasm for, and consistent number of graduates completing the Know Your Money program demonstrates that it contains the necessary components needed by African-American young adults to effectively manage their personal finances," said A. Shuanise Washington, vice president, government affairs policy and outreach, Altria Corporate Services, Inc. "With the National Urban League now taking the lead on this important initiative, we are proud to have done our part to help answer the call for economic parity in the African-American community." The Know Your Money program, which includes a three-class curriculum taught by business and academic experts over a 12-week period, will provide African-American professionals between the ages of 21 and 40 with a more comprehensive understanding of personal money management. The curriculum, designed by financial consultant and author Carla J. Cargle, includes coursework focused on improving participants' understanding of budgeting, the value of money and other essential tools of personal asset management. At the conclusion of the course, participants are armed with the tools and foundation upon which to build long-term economic stability for themselves, their families and their communities. Enrollment in Know Your Money courses will be limited to 100 participants in each city, in order to allow for an interactive learning environment. Interested individuals may call 1-888/537-8510 for details about registration, class schedules and venues. Applications will be received and processed by the NULYP chapter in each host market, and those accepted for enrollment will be required to pay a $30 registration fee to NULYP, which covers course materials, class sessions and a discounted one-year membership in the local NULYP chapter. About Altria Group, Inc. Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) is the parent company of Kraft Foods Inc., Philip Morris International Inc. and Philip Morris USA Inc. For more than four decades, the companies of Altria have provided sustained and wide-ranging support of programs that address important community needs. Since first partnering with the NUL in the 1940s, Altria companies have played an active role in supporting initiatives that promote the well-being of diverse communities through both leadership and economic development. Additional information about the Know Your Money program and other community initiatives supported by the Altria family of companies is available at http://www.altria.com/media_programs . About the National Urban League The National Urban League is the nation's oldest and largest community- based movement empowering African-Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Founded in 1910, the National Urban League, headquartered in New York City, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with affiliates in more than 100 cities in 34 states as well as the District of Columbia. As part of the National Urban League's ongoing efforts to cultivate future African-American business and political leadership, the NUL established the National Urban League Young Professionals organization in 2000. Today, there are more than 28 active and over a dozen incipient Young Professionals chapters in cities throughout the nation, working together with the affiliates of the NUL to support financial literacy, real world education and related political participation programs and initiatives for African-Americans. For more information about the National Urban League and the NULYP, please visit the organization's Web site at http://www.nul.org .
SOURCE National Urban League