USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Cecil Murray Center launches new Financial Fitness Workshops with CIT/OneWest Bank

Cecil Murray Center launches new Financial Fitness Workshops with CIT/OneWest Bank

Cecil Murray Center launches new Financial Fitness Workshops with CIT/OneWest Bank

The USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement announced the creation of a new initiative to bring Financial Fitness Workshops to churches throughout Los Angeles with the support of CIT/OneWest Bank.

CIT Bank and its Southern California retail bank division OneWest Bank will provide a $1.25 million grant over five years to the Cecil Murray Center to support financial literacy training and promote economic development in low- to moderate-income Los Angeles neighborhoods.

“We are here because we believe if the community prospers, we prosper. It’s a fundamental part of our business model,” Ellen Alemany, chairwoman and CEO of CIT Group, told church and community leaders and bank employees at a launch breakfast.

“Urban communities suffer from the poverty of money, safety and most of all opportunity. CIT/OneWest Bank is giving people in these often overlooked communities the chance to gain financial capabilities,” said Mark Whitlock, executive director of the Murray Center at USC. “With CIT’s generous support, the Murray Center will be able to help religious leaders and their constituents gain knowledge and resources for financial fitness, which will transform communities into better places to live, work and worship.”

Watch the launch breakfast to learn about the programming

Video starts around :45 seconds; speeches start around 5 minutes.

Over the course of the five-year grant, the Murray Center will partner with 60 churches to train 6,000 individuals in personal financial management and small business development, including credit remediation, savings and investments, and homeownership. Staff from the Murray Center, along with volunteer CIT bankers and financial professionals, will instruct the workshops.

“Developing strong partnerships with organizations such as the Murray Center helps us serve community needs where we do business, using our collective networks and expertise,” Steve Solk, president, CIT consumer banking, said. “We’re pleased to launch this new program with the Murray Center and make a long term commitment to helping our communities prosper.”

The first workshop was held in January at Greater Zion Church Family in Compton, California. All workshops are open to the public and will be held throughout the Los Angeles area. Please click here for more information about attending or hosting a workshop.

Watch the Financial Fitness Workshop video

“We’re focused on building pathways to economic sustainability by addressing the issues of financial education and community development,” said Rick Lieber, senior vice president, CIT. “Through our philanthropic efforts and the power of our employee volunteers, we’re working to create thriving economies and a better future for us all.”

The Murray Center is also partnering with the City of Los Angeles to bring additional resources to churches and communities. Click here for links to resources.