In 2018, we began the Live Mutual Project in the Frayser neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee, and the North End neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Frayser Neighborhood
The Frayser neighborhood of Memphis sprang up around the railroad in the late 1800s. In the 20th century, factories moved in, shopping centers and schools opened and the community thrived.
In the 1980s, plants closed, people left, and businesses stopped investing, leaving Frayser one of the most economically disadvantaged communities in America.
Per capita income in Frayser is lower than 99% of U.S. neighborhoods. 87% of children at Frayser Achievement Elementary school qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.
Despite these challenges, Frayser is full of potential. In 2017, a passionate MassMutual agent inspired us to do more. After learning about the damaging effect payday lenders had on the area, we were ready to act but didn’t have all the answers – we needed to take a mutual approach.
In 2018, Frayser welcomed the opportunity to be one of the first neighborhoods to participate in the Live Mutual Project.
Springfield's North End
Springfield’s North End includes Brightwood, Memorial Square and Liberty Heights. For more than a century, it has been a first home for various immigrant communities. While some have thrived, others experience health and well-being far below city, regional, and state expectations.
Brightwood, Memorial Square, and Liberty Heights have population rates living below the poverty line of 51%, 53% and 22% respectively, compared to the 11% national rate.
North End residents face challenges accessing financial services. With few formal banking services in the area, people rely on a few ATMs, check-cashing options in bodegas, or payday lenders in surrounding neighborhoods.
As the location of MassMutual’s headquarters, Springfield, Massachusetts was a natural place for us to pilot the Live Mutual Project. We work with longstanding partners to support residents’ financial well-being.
Middle and high school students receive financial education to build strong financial futures for themselves, their families, and their communities. Through our digital classroom-based financial education platform as well as through interactive events at National Basketball Association (NBA) affiliate arenas around the country, we have reached over two million students and will not stop until every corner of America is FutureSmart.Learn More
Through this unique offering, MassMutual helps eligible parents and legal guardians fund their children’s education by issuing $50,000 10-year life insurance policies at no cost to them (MassMutual pays the premiums.) Since 2002, LifeBridge has provided over 14,000 policies and more than $708 million in coverage. We’re proud of the positive impact LifeBridge has on the lives of participating families.Learn More
Many of us are uncomfortable talking about money. The questions in the discussion guide are intended to help start a conversation about financial health, including how we spend and save, and what can be done to help the millions of Americans struggling financially today. Download our discussion guide and start a conversation today.Learn More