Programs with a Purpose: Fred Wherry



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An estimated 45 million adults in the U.S. lack a credit score at time when credit invisibility can reduce one’s ability to rent a home, find employment, or secure a mortgage or loan. As a result, individuals without credit—who are disproportionately African American and Latino—often lead separate and unequal financial lives. Credit also affect to their sense of dignity, respect, and social belonging. Yet, as sociologists and public policy experts Frederick Wherry, Kristin Seefeldt, and Anthony Alvarez argue, many people who are not recognized within the financial system engage in behaviors that indicate their credit worthiness. 

Join Hooks Book Events, A Wider Circle, Leadership Greater Washington, and the Aspen Financial Security Program for a moderated conversation over lunch with Frederick Wherry as he investigates the history of racial wealth inequality in the U.S. and how institutions might acknowledge these harmful practices and help people emerge from the financial shadows. In Credit Where It’s Due, the authors evaluate an innovative model of credit-building and advocate for a new understanding of financial citizenship, or participation in a financial system that fosters social belonging, dignity, and respect. By situating the successes of the Mission Asset Fund in the larger history of credit and debt, Credit Where It’s Due shows how to prioritize financial citizenship for all. 

“Working hard and playing by the rules still casts aside millions. Credit Where It’s Due tells the inspiring story of the Mission Asset Fund’s pathway to belonging and financial citizenship. Inspired and well crafted, this book builds the case for making and illuminates how to make citizenship, immigrant integration, and democracy work for organizations, advocates, and anybody committed to building a better society.” —THOMAS M. SHAPIRO, director and David R. Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy, Institute on Assets and Social Policy, The Heller School, Brandeis University

Programs with a Purpose: Fred Wherry


11:30am - 12:00pm: Lunch (provided)

12:00pm: Welcome from Aspen Institute President & CEO, Mark Bergel ('16), and Doug Duncan ('15)

12:00pm - 1:00pm: Panel

1:00pm - 1:30pm: Q & A

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