QuestBridge, PersistVU host Money Matters Week March 30–April 2

Money Matters Week, which aims to uplift and broaden the Vanderbilt community’s understanding of the ways in which people and students from low- and lower-income backgrounds experience and navigate systemic and social barriers, will feature a week of events March 30–April 2. The programming will include a faculty panel, virtual workshops and games, and online information on financial literacy and wellness.

Money Matters Week is hosted by the Vanderbilt chapter of QuestBridge and PersistVU. QuestBridge is a national nonprofit that connects the nation’s most exceptional youth from low-income communities with leading universities and opportunities. PersistVU is a Vanderbilt identity initiative within the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence that serves as a resource hub and support network for institutionally underrepresented and under-served communities at the university.

The workshops and discussions throughout Money Matters Week will explore the intersections of class, wealth and higher education as well as the experiences of students and faculty from low- and lower-income backgrounds at Vanderbilt by building upon a critical analysis of the root causes of class disparities and the oppressive structures that maintain classism.

“The Questbridge Executive Board is beyond excited to introduce Money Matters Week to the larger Vanderbilt community,” said Virginia Richards, president of the Vanderbilt chapter. “Class has been a realm that the university has historically avoided speaking on, resulting in the marginalization of the low-income community at Vanderbilt. We hope that with Money Matters Week, we can bring power to low-income students, offering them the platform to have their voices and concerns heard.

“We are also glad that our programming will avoid run-of-the-mill, ‘finances 101’-style programming, which tends to avoid addressing the systemic roots of classism in higher education and instead places the liability on low-income students for the economic inequity that they face,” Richards said.

Coordinated by Vanderbilt’s QuestBridge chapter and the PersistVU network, the programming aligns with the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence and its work to support and invest in historically and currently marginalized groups of students, faculty and postdoctoral fellows across Vanderbilt’s campus. Through investment and cross-campus connections, identity initiatives sponsor programs and opportunities to increase the entire VU community’s sense of inclusion and belonging.

Money Matters Week Schedule

  • Tuesday, March 30
    • Low-income Faculty Panel: A Conversation with Dr. Gilman Whiting and Dr. Miriam Erickson
    • 7 p.m. CT
  • Wednesday, March 31
    • Financial Literacy Workshop w/ Rachel Gibbs
  • Thursday, April 1
    • The Consequences of COVID-19: A Low-income Student Panel
    • 5 p.m. CT
  • Friday, April 2
    • The SPENT Game: Poverty Simulator
    • 6 p.m. CT

Please contact to RSVP for an event and receive the Zoom link.

Be sure to follow @inclusion_vandy on Twitter, as well as @vandyquestbridge on Instagram, for more information as Money Matters Week approaches.