( ENSPIRE Features ) The CEO Creates an “In the Black Campaign” To Help Combat Widespread Indebtedness and Promote Financial Success
ENSPIRE Contributor: Elizabeth Duchan
Dr. DeForest Soaries is committed to helping others achieve wellness and success through his very own financial freedom initiative. The founder of dfree® has created an economic and cultural movement in savings, insurance, and investments to transform lifestyles and communities throughout the world. Dedicating his life to this mission, Soaries recently launched an “In the Black Campaign” to guide people through the financial difficulties that accompany the holiday season.
Dr. Soaries, a renowned reverend and the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, has been a pioneer in furthering the success of his community through countless humanitarian efforts. He founded the Central Jersey Community Development Corporation in 1992, a nonprofit for revitalizing disadvantaged neighborhoods, and the Harvest of Hope Family Services Network in 1996, which offers opportunities for children in foster care. Soaries broke further boundaries as the first African-American Secretary of State for New Jersey and an active member in pushing the “Help American Vote Act” of 2002.
Dr. Soaries took his leadership and ambitions to new heights in 2005 when he launched the dfree® Financial Freedom Movement, the only faith-based organization focused specifically on uplifting the Black community. Utilizing a variety of tools, including a 12-step academy training program, dfree® prioritizes helping participants gain autonomy over their finances, reduce overspending, and leave assets for future generations.
“dfree® is a brand, a curriculum, and a movement aimed at closing the wealth gap between Black people and the general population,” explains Soaries. “People have sought and received help with our debt management, foreclosure prevention, and credit building resources.” Through these goals of achieving financial success, Dr. Soaries has fostered a community of like-minded individuals who support each other and gain higher self-esteem, greater discipline, and sense of purpose throughout their transformations.
In light of the difficult COVID-19 times, dfree® has launched its holiday campaign, “In The Black,” to help reduce indebtedness prompted by major consumer events like Black Friday. “We decided to launch our dfree® ‘In the Black’ Holiday Campaign to stress the idea that being “in the black” means having fewer liabilities (debt) than assets (savings, etc.),” said Soaries. “Instead of celebrating Black Friday, we urged Black people to get In the Black by Black Friday.” The company joined forces with Greenpath, MoneyLion, and Billion Dollar Paydown to spur debt relief, credit building, and meeting savings goals.
dfree® also sponsored a “Debt-A-Thon” on November 21st, a virtual event featuring testimonials, endorsements, celebrities, and celebrations to motivate audiences to seek debt relief. Following this and their “In The Black” Friday initiative, dfree® is planning an “I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas” program to encourage saving and investing for the rest of the year and beyond.
Although Dr. Soaries’ years as a pastor are winding down, he continues to dedicate his time to put his vision of widespread financial freedom into action. “We are fighting for our future―the future of our families, the future of our communities, the future of our people,” declares the CEO. “Dfree® is a volunteer activity that I will pursue until I die.”
For more information about Dr. Soaries and dfree®’s future initiatives, please visit https://mydfree.org/.