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How To Break The Generational Curse of Poverty in 5 steps

“Change starts with us”. It’s a small phrase, but holds so much power when it comes to many facets of life. It’s even more powerful when we speak of breaking generational curses. But what are these ‘curses’ that we speak of? Do they refer to some type of “hoodoo voodoo” handed down upon us because of some long forgotten evil done by our ancestors? Is it something taboo? According to The Gospel Coalition, a “generational curse describes the cumulative effect on a person of things that their ancestors did, believed, or practiced in the past, and a consequence of an ancestor’s actions, beliefs, and sins being passed down.” An example of a generational curse is divorce”. This may all be true, but for our purposes here, let’s focus on actions and beliefs.

We see it over and over in every day life. The constant negative patterns in families that seem almost inescapable. They seem to imprison some or all members of the same blood line from the day they were conceived until the day they die. Drug addiction, failed marriages and relationships, abuse, mental illness and poverty are some of the major evils that have contaminated the lives of the families around us. For some of us, these are evident within our own families. Many might argue that poverty itself can cause a domino effect to most of the other social ills, so therein lies our focus.

Although slavery was abolished decades ago, in many black communities the effects of poverty are still very much evident. It is time to unlearn some of the negative beliefs and actions that may have become a part of us before we perpetuate them to the next generation. The steps below are not 100% failsafe, but they are certainly approved to set the pace for healing and renewal.

A. WITH THE HELP OF AN ELDER IN YOUR FAMILY, DRAW A GENOGRAM.
An example of a financial genogram

genogram (pronounced: jen-uh-gram) is a graphic representation of a family tree that displays detailed data on relationships among individuals. In the example shown above, the illustration focuses on the habits of each person in your family tree.

Here are some questions you may ask:

  • Were there any wealthy people in our family?
  • Were there any persons who were in continuous debt?
  • Who in our family got a divorce?
  • Who had several children they couldn’t take care of financially?
  • What type of jobs did everyone end up settling for?
  • Was there any history of a family feud/enmity in our family?

Once you have a list of questions, start by filling out the answers you know. There is not a right or wrong way to do this, so choose a method that makes the most sense for you. Once you’ve written down the information you already know, call your relatives to ask for answers to the remaining questions.

It isn’t necessary to speak with everyone on the tree, but talk to as many people as possible so you can better understand who they are and their behavior patterns. The more information you have, the more you’ll understand trends and generational curses that have impacted you.

2. TALK WITH YOUR LOVED ONES.

This may be one of the toughest things to do, but without communication, there can be no healing! There are some secrets so hidden within families that they’re inevitably taken to the grave, and the struggle continues. The only way to start the healing process is to lay the cards out on the table. Though the cards may be bitter, our children deserve to know what they may need to work on and what habits they need to unlearn. The keys to breaking generational curses reside in Truth. Without truth, there can be no change.

3. SEEK SUPPORT.

If there are secrets and habits within your family that need immediate attention, seek help! There has always been a stigma within the black community when it comes to counselling, but a counselor can help you process your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way and help you identify generational curses manifesting in your family. Thankfully, there are professionals available to fit every person, budget, and schedule. If you are religious, you can seek the help of a pastor. The right pastor can incorporate what is both divine and practical and organize an effective intervention for your family. Many of the answers we need are one consultation away, but fear of judgment has crippled many. It is this very fear that can end up keeping us in the same downward spiral throughout generations. If you find it impossible to overcome this fear of one on one counseling, there are many qualified online counselors to choose from.

4. EDUCATE.

Education can come in the form of periodical family meetings, talks over dinner or you can take the next step and talk to your children specifically about finances. If you are not sure that you are equipped enough to educate them, there are many online resources that can help you. We took the time to highlight a few exceptional publications that you can take advantage of:

These insightful and age appropriate finance books are just a few of the many volumes written by Dr. Boyce D. Watkins. He is is an American author, economist, political analyst, and social commentator. During his academic career, Boyce Watkins was a visiting scholar with the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School Of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.

As an adult, if you are excited to start this learning journey yourself, there are many audio books and paper backs to choose from. We recommend these for starters:

5. CELEBRATE!

The final step we recommend is that you celebrate! Celebrate those wins, no matter how small. As you transition away from the generational curse of poverty, do one small thing to celebrate your victory. You have now positioned yourself to break financial barriers within your own lineage. May your name be written in history as the one who broke the mold, and led your bloodline to generational wealth!

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SCAMMED by the Blessing Loom

With the world plunging into economic crises due to Covid-19 and mandatory lock-downs, it isn’t a surprise that fraudulent economics is rearing its ugly head everywhere. The most common being “the blessing loom”. It goes by other names such as:

  • Blessing Bank
  • Infinity Loom
  • Snowflake Blessing
  • Giving Circle

How it started

This pyramid scheme first surfaced in 2016 when Derek Loom, an American citizen roped in ‘blessed investors’ via social media. He was arrested in 2019, but by that time, he had already made at least 10 Million USD and authorities couldn’t press any real charges against him, as per various media reports. The scam easily and quickly reverberated through the four corners of the earth, via the worldwide platform, Facebook.

How it works

Persons are usually recruited by invitation only. With a small investment of let’s say $100, through some digital payment service like Paypal or Venmo, you can spread the wealth, and see a huge return on the money (your ‘entry fee’). The only catch is that you have to recruit other ‘investors.’ They, in turn will invite others and the goal is for everyone to end up making loads of cash. It’s evident on social media right now, that persons are posting their invites directly in groups and on their facebook walls with captions such as “inbox me” or “find out how!”

How you lose

This sounds like heaven! Right? Unfortunately, in most cases, it ends up being hell for most unsuspecting hopefuls. The trouble with the scheme is its reliance on recruiting others in order to keep the ship afloat. Once people stop participating, the money ship sinks. This will leave lots of disappointed people to lose the cash they initially invested.

The idea of the blessing loom is similar to that of a ponzi scheme. According to invesopedia, A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to investors. The Ponzi scheme generates returns for early investors by acquiring new investors. This is similar to a pyramid scheme in that both are based on using new investors’ funds to pay the earlier backers. They sound pretty much identical!

Derek Loom, who started the blessing loom in 2016

Tenesha’s Story

Tenesha W. 27, from Brooklyn NY was employed as a pre-school teacher before covid-19 struck the USA in January 2020. The pre-school soon closed its doors indefinitely and she was forced to apply for unemployment benefits. Being a single mother, having 3 children aged 5 -13, with no income and no assistance caused Tenesha to go into depression. Soon, she was offered a rope in the dark. A friend of hers contacted her and asked her to invest $100 to join the loom. Her friend explained how it worked and she was on board. I mean, how hard could it be to find two people, right? That she did. Once Tenesha received her $800 ‘hand’, things started looking up for her. She decided to try another group. She made another $800 and then another. This was way more than she had bargained for! Things were definitely turning around for her.

One day, she saw a post on social media that offered way more than just $800. This time, you could invest $625 and gain $5000. This seemed like some kind of miracle. Tenesha was quick to message the poster and join his group. Her early gains were being depleted and she needed a quick fix so that she could at least pay something on her rent and stock up on some much needed groceries. She could only dream about getting her hair and nails done again. Once she joined, she embarked on her mission of recruiting the required investors. She invited the friend that recruited her in the first place, but she wasn’t interested as the stakes were a bit high for her. Instead, she was met with- “Girl, why didn’t you stick with the $100 groups!?” Tenesha was puzzled since her friend was so confident when recruiting her. This seemed like a sure thing, so why not up the stakes a bit? She continued her recruiting mission and finally secured her people.

Everyone was finally in! Her recruits also had the job of recruiting their own people so she just sat tight for a bit until it was her turn to receive her blessings. Days passed, weeks passed, and she sent countless messages to her group chat asking why it was taking so long for her payout? Was anyone else getting paid? She was always met with the same response. ” The money is coming, everyone has to wait their turn.” By this time, two months had passed, and her ‘winnings’ from previous ‘blessings’ were already gone. “Count this one as a loss, sis” her friend advised. This statement came much to Tenesha’s surprise because she had been so sure the plan was all fail-safe. “Why didn’t you tell me this sh#t wasn’t sucker proof? I need my $500 back!” By this time, the group had grown stagnant, and most members were either leaving the whatsapp group or had stopped responding altogether.

Tenesha made a formal complaint to the NYC police department in the hopes of getting back the $625 she had invested. However, her case was difficult to bring to a close and she basically got no where. Although these schemes are illegal in NYC, it is difficult to prove that the funds are taken/stolen rather than ‘gifted.’

More on how the loom works

CBS 19 provided these tips on how to avoid social media scams:

  • Stay alert to pyramid schemes. Pyramid schemes promise quick profits for recruiting others. Scammers prey on the desire to make a lot of money with very little effort. But remember, pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States and Canada.
  • Be skeptical: Before you accept any offer on social media, do your research. Just because something appears to be fun and was shared by a friend, doesn’t mean there isn’t an inherent risk. Many of these offers include extravagent promises that aren’t kept.
  • Monitor Friend Requests. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Also be wary of a second friend request from someone you are already connected with; the second profile may be an imposter trying to access your data and your friends list.
  • Ask questions and research the offer before joining any business venture. What appears to be a legitimate investment could still be a pyramid scheme. Check business ratings and reviews on BBB.org and other search engines before agreeing to work with or invest in any company or individual.

According to the office of the NY Attorney General, people invest in pyramid schemes for various reasons. These include:

Those who participate out of greed;

Those who are misled into thinking that they are joining an “investment club” or a “gift program”;

And those who believe that the products or services are legitimate.

One Way to actually Build Wealth

The major problem with these schemes is that you’re basically promising something you can’t guarantee. BWM recommends doing your research and joining a proper ‘box hand’ or ‘sou sou’ instead. According to Essence Magazine, A sou-sou (also spelled sou sou, su-su or susu) is an informal rotating savings club, where a group of people get together and contribute an equal amount of money into a fund weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The total pool, also known as a hand, is then paid to one member of the club on a previously agreed-on schedule. The pool rotates until all members have received their share.- Sounds Legit.

Related: More on sou-sous

There are actually sou-sou apps. See more here or explore them on Google Play.

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Google’s program for Black Founders to launch August 2020

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, JUNE 29, 2020

If you are an entrepreneur, you are most likely constantly seeking resources to aid not only in education, but also tools to help you maximize your profits. In 2011, Google launched Google for Startups (formerly known as Google for Entrepreneurs). It consists of over 50 co-working spaces and accelerators in 125 countries, offering hands-on lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs.

In August 2020, a new program will be launched. Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders is a 3 month-long digital accelerator program for high potential seed to series A Tech Startups based in the US.

The program is designed to bring the best of Google’s programs, products, people and tech to Black Founder communities across the USA. In addition to mentorship and tech support, the program will include deep dives and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development for founders.

You need to get on this train now, as the program starts in August 2020. The first series of this program will comprise approximately 10-12 top US headquartered startups.

The format of the program will be as follows:

Three months with digital workshops, programming, and mentor ship taking place each week. Selected founders will outline the top tech challenges facing their startups, and will then be paired with experts to help solve these challenges. Startups will also receive deep mentor ship on technical challenges with an emphasis on data and machine learning, as well as connections to relevant teams across Google.

Who should apply?

Selected startups should have a minimum of 10+ employees, and both the founder and selected team members must be available to join all program elements of their series. All Startups should aim to leverage AI/ML tech in their product, service or operations and/or show interest in leveraging these in the future.

What are the benefits?

The program offers a wealth of benefits, to include

  • Equity -Free Support
  • Exclusive Invitations to Tech Boot camps hosted by Google
  • Personalized mentor ship & Tech support from Google experts
  • The opportunity to provide feedback to Google product teams
Here are some more of Google’s tools for Entrepreneurs you can check out:
  • The Accelerate with Google Academy is a 12-week program designed to help businesses like yours start marketing online, and then be great at it! As a participant, you’ll get all the tools and training you need to advertise on the web, including live help and private consultations with dedicated experts. The program is customized, so by the end of it, you’ll be ready to start meeting your businesses unique goals and making the most of the web.
  • The Google for Entrepreneurs platform consists of well managed tools and resources to help jump start your business.

Wherever your startup is, from concept to scaleup, Google for Startups can help move your business forward.

What do you need to get done?

Here are some useful tools that Google for Entrepreneurs can provide:

  • Get support and build and run killer apps and sites
  • Better understand your customers by getting focused insights and analytics
  • Get great hosting and storage
  • Increase the productivity of your team
  • Learn how to market your product wisely
  • Monetize your product by creating various revenue streams

Making use of the knowledge and resources available will put you ahead of the competition. There can be no progress without education. Start Today.