The national organization, Operation HOPE held a forum honoring the eldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Their message is that people can get ahead if they understand the language of money.
John Hope Bryant is the group's founder and was just appointed to President Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability.
"Here's the big one here in Oakland. If I don't have a purpose in my life, I'll make your life a living hell. Give them a sense of financial literacy. Let them aspire to be entrepreneurs, small business owners, self employment projects where there is no job, create a job," says Bryant.
Operation HOPE also released the results of a survey that found that one third of American students no longer believe in the American dream.