Giving Financial Literacy the Attention It Deserves

By Cyndie Martini, President and CEO, Member Access Pacific (MAP)

If you have ever wondered why we at MAP and Visa ask NFL players to promote financial literacy, the reason became crystal clear this past week in Washington, DC. In addition to the obvious tie to the Financial Football game that we use to promote financial literacy, this is an issue everyone agrees is important but yet it rarely rises to the level of mainstream attention.

Thanks to the support from our partner, Visa, thoughtful athletes like Matt Stafford of the Detroit Lions and London Fletcher of the Washington Redskins can come forward and demonstrate the crucial need to help Americans of all ages learn more about sound money management. They harness their own celebrity to demystify a subject that has far too many of us scared into inaction.

Last week, Stafford and Fletcher went to the White House to speak at the Financial Capability and Empowerment Summit. Visa, along with 15 other national and local organizations, were invited to showcase the financial literacy programs at the White House Summit. The fact the Administration is even holding such a Summit is genuinely impressive, and the day’s focus on delivering tangible results made it all the more impactful.

Before their White House appearance, Fletcher and Stafford took time to visit the Pentagon, where, with Rep. Gary Peters of Michigan and Navy Federal Credit Union, they spoke to a group of our troops about financial education.

When they talk about financial literacy, Fletcher and Stafford do not preach from on high. Like all of us, they have made mistakes with money.  But unlike most of us, they were willing to subjugate their pride and talk about it openly with others, sharing with both the financial and political titans gathered at the White House, as well as with the enlisted men and women at the Pentagon.

It is selfless acts like these that make them perfect ambassadors for financial literacy.

I encourage you to learn more about the important work showcased at the summit to increase financial literacy in our country and download the Financial Capability Toolkit developed by the White House’s Domestic Policy Council.  The Administration is offering the resource guide to K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, employers, and community leaders with the goal of inspiring leaders at all levels to leverage partnerships to create their own financial capability initiatives as a means toward building financial well-being for every American.


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