Groundbreaking Journalist Shares Empowering Message During Black History Month
Stacey Tisdale P’23, a more than 20-year veteran TV broadcast financial journalist and the first African American to report from the New York Stock Exchange, brought inspiration to the Upper School on Friday, February 7.
Her talk, “What We Can All Learn From the Financial History of African-Americans,” highlighted the power of resilience in overcoming financial roadblocks and challenges.
Tisdale, who is the CEO of multi-media content provider Mind Money Media Inc., shared that her presentation was borne out of a six-year research project into financial behavior, during which she studied the emotional and social reasons why people make financial decisions. Most decisions, she explained, are based on childhood and social experiences, and are also informed by what people believe about themselves. “I try to get people to examine their patterns and change those that don’t fit them,” Tisdale explained after the presentation. She used the example of the history of black wealth in America to showcase how people are stronger than the “scripts” that they write — and that are written for them — about their financial life.
Tisdale’s talk included various aspects of African American financial history, including the Great Migration, red lining and modern-day predatory lending – all of which, she told the crowd, “leave psychological scars, they leave emotional scars and they obviously leave financial scars.”
Despite these significant and longterm challenges, the financial journalist shared that black households in the United States earning $75,000 or more are the fastest-growing income group in the country. Black buying power in the United States is $1.5 trillion, and black women are majority owners in over 1.5 million businesses.
“Something bigger happens that allows these groups to transcend this,” Tisdale noted, and it can be summed up in one word: resilience. And that’s just the message that she hopes students will take away from her talk: “We all have to deal with this conditioning and learn how to manage this conditioning. But, there are bigger forces at play in you.”
Before Tisdale took the stage, Director of Equity and Inclusion Karen Brown told the crowd that “Black History Month is not just about talking about trauma. It is an exciting and exhilarating time to fill in those gaps that our textbooks and our school curriculums over time have left out. It’s a time to teach about our resilience and successes.” And Tisdale’s inspiring presentation was just that: a celebration of the power of resilience.