Home News and Features Money Matters: A Symposium on Sustainable Solutions for Women

Money Matters: A Symposium on Sustainable Solutions for Women

At the 2022 Money Matters Symposium, from left, Rae Carter, Jacquelyn Rieke, Kim Pierce, Rickey Gard Diamond, and Shanda Williams. Courtesy photo.

A finance symposium like no other will be held at the Haybarn at Goddard College on Oct. 20. The second annual “Money Matters: Eco-Feminism + Radical Love” features a day of talks from “local she-ros,” as organizer Shanda Williams put it, and is designed for “anyone who identifies as a woman.” The event features a medley of topics all in the service of “women’s economic recovery and resilience from financial trauma.”

The symposium follows a three-part series Williams has been offering locally that includes sessions on basic budgeting, debt and credit mitigation, and finding a path to homeownership.

Williams, of S D Communications and Marketing Consulting Group LLC, is a self-described “Change maker, reparations activist, equity strategist, and BIPOC community advocate” whose background spans the insurance and banking industries. She has also worked with Downstreet Housing and Community Development on homeowners’ assistance and rental assistance programs, she said. She organized the symposium, she said, as a place for women to come together to find economic solutions to financial independence — from organic farming and collective communities to tiny homes and housing justice. (“Housing is really huge,” she said.)

“We have to come up with our own sustainable solutions … whether it’s sharing food, services, being more of a collective,” Williams said in an interview with The Bridge.

Money Matters speakers include Dr. Opeyemi Parham and Hazel Adams-Shango; former Vermont House Rep. Kiah Morris; Rep. Saudia LaMont; Ana Mejia; Farmer Ama; Amanda Franz from The Everything Space; and Catherine Griset from the North Branch Nature Center. Guest speakers include Rickey Gard Diamond from An Economy of Our Own and author of “Screwnomics: How Our Economy Works Against Women and Real Ways to Make Lasting Change” and Rae Carter from EmpowR Transformation.

“The global economy, waged as war, is doing exactly what it’s designed to do,” said Gard Diamond in an email to The Bridge. “Forbes 400 reports that the richest Americans increased their holdings by $500 billion in 2023. We thousandaires (if we’re lucky) have trouble conceptualizing numbers like our richest Elon Musk’s $151 billion net worth. Count each dollar as one second, and he’s worth 4,745 YEARS. How do we compare? The U.S. median household net worth for white families was $188,200 and for Black families $24,100. Translated into seconds, that’s a little over 2 DAYS for me and not quite 7 HOURS for my Black sister.”

The Money Matters symposium will be held at the Goddard College Haybarn at 123 Pitkin Road in Plainfield from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com/e/money-matters-eco-feminism-radical-love-a-symposium-tickets-723970624627?aff=oddtdtcreator.

The event is sponsored by the Community Resilience Organization, the Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation, the Center for Women and Enterprise, An Economy of Our Own, The Alchemist, the Everything Space, EmpowR Transformation, and the Vermont Releaf Collective. For more information contact shanda.williams4@gmail.com, 802-505-1880.