SWAC to Host First Annual Economic Empowerment Summit

Last year, Birmingham hosted the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship -- one of America's most exciting black college football games -- with unmatched success.

The 1999 game brought together more than 48,000 football fans for fun and excitement. However, the game served a more important role by making an estimated economic impact of $17.5 million on the community.

To build on that success, the conference created the SWAC Economic Empowerment Summit to offer black college football fans professional development opportunities during the game-week activities. The event will be held Thursday, Nov. 30, at Alabama Power's Corporate Headquarters Auditorium from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"Although the game was a huge success in its first year in Birmingham, we wanted to enhance the activities by including professional development, wealth-building, financial planning and entrepreneurship strategies in the week-long schedule of events," says Rudy Washington, SWAC commissioner. "The summit will provide an abundance of information for participants and will go a long way toward improving the quality of their lives."

An impressive roster of panelists, known for their prowess in the business arena, will share information about successful approaches to building wealth, embracing entrepreneurial opportunities and positioning finances for the maximum benefit.

Based on a recent survey jointly commissioned by Ariel Mutual Funds and Charles Schwab & Co., the summit is timely because high-income blacks are considerably less active in the stock market than whites and have less wealth accumulated for retirement.

Among households with over $50K in annual income, just 57 percent of blacks report having any money in the stock market.

As part of the summit, the SWAC will award scholarships to business students from conference member institutions. For more information about the summit, call 930-9393 or 257-3018.

SOURCE: Alabama Power

Contact: John Hudson of Alabama Power, 205-257-3018