Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Nancy Condon (202) 728-8379
Sarah Bohn (202) 728-8988
NASD Foundation Funds Investor Education Program for Native Americans
Washington, D.C.— The NASD Investor Education Foundation has awarded a grant of $87,000 to First Nations in Fredericksburg, VA, to develop and deliver educational materials on investing and the markets to Native Americans.
First Nations is the only national Native American-led organization dedicated to helping Native Americans develop their assets and control their economic futures in ways appropriate to their cultures. The NASD Foundation's grant will be used to develop Investment Skills for Families, a curriculum that will become a component of Building Native Communities, a financial education series introduced by First Nations in 2001.
"Too many investors have limited access to opportunities for even the most basic financial education," said Robert R. Glauber, Chairman & CEO of NASD, who also serves as Chairman of the NASD Investor Education Foundation. "This program offers opportunities for investor education, and one that is keyed to the context and history of the Native American cultures and communities."
"For 24 years, First Nations has been helping Native people and organizations build on their strengths," explains First Nations Founder and President Rebecca Adamson. "We founded the first micro-enterprise loan fund in the United States on the Pine Ridge Reservation, helped start credit unions on reservation and, through First Nations Oweesta Corp., channel capital to reservations. Now we are honored to work with NASD to strengthen Native peoples' financial knowledge." Ms. Adamson has been recognized nationally and internationally for her innovative work with Indigenous Peoples around the globe.
"Native people understand assets, wealth, savings, investment, yield and other such concepts in the natural world. Our job is to translate that knowledge into the institutional framework of modern financial markets," says Gelvin Stevenson, who will author the curriculum. Stevenson, Cherokee from Oklahoma, has served on the First Nations board for nearly 20 years. He has a Ph.D. in economics and formerly wrote and edited at Business Week magazine.
The NASD Investor Education Foundation, established in 2003, supports educational programs and research with the goal of providing investors with high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand investing and the markets. The Foundation recently awarded more than $1 million in total to 11 organizations, including First Nations, for new educational programs and research projects targeting the underserved segments of the population. The NASD Investor Education Foundation formally launched its second full grant cycle on April 5, inviting non-profit groups and researchers to apply for funding. Grant proposals must be submitted by June 3, 2005. For details about grant programs and other new initiatives of the Foundation, visit www.nasdfoundation.org.
NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation. NASD believes that understanding should precede investing - and that education is often the best form of investor protection. NASD's broad range of investor education programs include Investor Alerts, brochures and online resource guides on such critical topics as mutual fund class shares and 401(k) and college savings plans. This information is distributed through its Web site, www.nasd.com, printed materials and Investor Forums.