About Us

About Us

The Coalition is an 18-year-old independent non-profit, housed at Fordham Law School at Lincoln Center. The Coalition presents classes to teens, working-age adults and seniors at non-profits, schools, social service organizations, and other community groups in the city. We offer classes in English, Spanish and Chinese. Teaching financial education is at the core of the Coalition’s work. We rely on trained volunteers, many of whom have a financial services background. Our Train-the-Trainer workshop for volunteers provides the knowledge and materials that highlight the necessary methods needed to teach a wide range of vulnerable populations.

The Coalition’s method is what sets us apart. In addition to learning the topics’ content, our volunteers learn the best practices for adult pedagogy and understand the psychological and emotional aspects of money. We emphasize the need for insight, empathy and energy when teaching, in order to engage participants and maximize learning and retention of information.

The Coalition also has a legal research component. Researchers are Board members Susan Block-Leib of Fordham Law School, Ted Janger of Brooklyn Law School, Crystin Ondersma of Rutgers Law and Ndukwe Agwu of Brooklyn Legal Services.

We also host an annual conference on a timely consumer financial topic and honor an outstanding consumer advocate with our Friend of the Consumer Award. The 2015 Friend of the Consumer is NYC Council Member Jumaane D. Williams for his work in support of affordable housing. Mr. Williams will be honored at our annual conference on Sept 9 at Fordham Law School. (See details about the conference on our home page.)

Ndukwe Agwu. Senior Staff Attorney, Brooklyn Legal Services, Corporation A

Greg Bassuk, Franklin Square Capital Partners

Susan Block-Lieb, Professor, Fordham Law School, CDE General Counsel

Kathryn Brandt, Attorney, Brandt, Steinberg, Lewis & Blond, LLP

Karen Dealey, Managing Director, Principal Accounting Officer, Jefferies & Company

Elaine Dovas, Apple Bank

Edward “Ted” J. Janger, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

Barbara Kent, President,Coalition for Debtor Education

Nancy A. Kistner, CFP ®, Senior Vice President - Wealth Strategist Team Leader

U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management Wealth Planning Solutions Group

Elizabeth McCaul, Partner-in-Charge, Promontory Financial Group

Chrystin Ondersma, Law Professor, Rutgers University School of Law

Richard “Rick” J. Roberto, President Emeritis, Neighborhood Housing Services

Erik P. Shumar, MPA, MSW, PhD, Consultant, KPMG, Board Treasurer

Donal Warde, Analyst, Real Estate Capital Partners

Cathy Weintraub, Director of Research, New York State Department of Financial Services

Contact Us

Fordham University School of Law
Coalition for Debtor Education
150 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023

Tel: 212-636-7752

Email: nycmoneysmarts@law.fordham.edu