"I'm so glad that I was already financially independent when I came out to my parents. It worked out, but it was touch and go for a moment in between" - Bayo Adelaja, CEO, Do it Now Now. This declaration of self is not the only occurrence in a Black queer womxn's life that warrants an objective look at one's finances to determine options and opportunities.
Despite being 3% more likely to report abuse to the police, Black womxn are 14% less likely to be effectively supported out of the abusive situation, according to Refuge. Statistics like these make it increasingly crucial for Black queer womxn to achieve financial independence so that it is possible to make a way out of a bad situation when necessary. The problem is so well acknowledged within our community that it is a commonplace for Black womxn to "kiki" about "FU money" and the different revenue streams that can help to "secure the bag". We often find ourselves swapping stories and tips readily in hopes of contributing to the Financial Freedom of a close friend or family member. Note the word "freedom" there. While finance isn't the only factor, according to the World Bank and Dana Harrington Conner's 2014 paper in the William and Mary Journal of Race, Gender and Social Justice, access to finance, coupled with the other keys in place, will lead to longer-term success and more robust sustainability in the future.
We know that access to money and opportunities are inextricably linked. We also know that Financial Freedom breeds autonomy over self and circumstances. Particularly in these times where Black womxn are most affected by the Cost of Living crisis, supporting Black womxn to gain Financial Freedom is incredibly important. It profoundly aligns with the mission of our organisation.
When we surveyed our My Moon Landing community members, Black womxn and Black Queer people seeking to improve their financial literacy, this is what we discovered:
In our society, there is a need for urgency when considering the mental health of Black womxn. Black women are the most likely group to experience common mental health disorders, and Black people are currently five times more likely than White people to be detained under the Mental Health Act. As this 2021 longitudinal study shows, Financial Freedom reduces mental and physical health issues.
Concerning their mental health, our community members had this to say:
There is a future in which all Black womxn can fully engage in our society's systems effectively, benefit from it fully and navigate it deftly. That is the future we are working towards, which is why we champion the Financial Freedom of Black queer womxn.