Can Financial Inequality Become A Thing Of The Past? Bishop T.D. Jakes Think So

When faced with generational inequality and a wealth gap that just gets bigger and bigger, the most important way to combat all of it is to just get started.

“It’s not just about money. It’s about the economy,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes, the pastor, author and filmmaker who led a panel discussion for Essence Festival’s first-ever Global Black Economic Forum

Jakes was joined by Chase Consumer Banking CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett and Ram Palaniappan, the founder of Earnin, an app that allows workers to access the money they make as soon as they clock out of work every day. 

“Start small, but start now,” Duckett emphasized. “If you’re trying to build wealth and you only have a dollar, you can’t make that connection. But if you understand that one dollar can become two and you can leave something for your children, that mindset can occur.” 

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It’s not easy to back up against a system with an unequal foundation, the CEOs said, so it’s important to surround yourself with the people and experiences to help you do that. They also cheered the entrepreneurs in the room on to success. 

“You’ve got to believe in yourself. That’s how you get ahead,” Palaniappan said.

“The only difference between being buried and being planted is expectation,” Jakes said in closing. “You have to have this attitude: I have not been buried. I have been planted. I’m gonna come back.”