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Russell Simmons, The Hip Hop Summit Action Network, Chrysler Financial and Suze Orman Kick Off Financial Empowerment National Tour

NEW YORK, N.Y. MAY 3, 2005- Today, in one of New York City”s most famous and hottest hip-hop establishments, 40/40, executives of one of the world”s leading financial institutions, Chrysler Financial, joined hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons, recording industry executives and artists, and Suze Orman, America”s most listened to personal finance expert, in kicking off a national program on financial empowerment for young people. The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) is coordinating this national campaign under the theme “Get Your Money Right.” The campaign encompasses a Hip-Hop Summit on Financial Empowerment National Tour and a broad-based multi-media platform via the Hip Hop Summit Action Network Internet portal (

Simmons, who revolutionized the financial payments industry two years ago by offering basic banking services to individuals without access to a traditional banking relationship via the Rush Prepaid Visa Card, realized quickly that many young people today, even those with college degrees, simply are not educated on how to manage their personal finances. The result, record credit card debt, even a dramatic rise in bankruptcy filings among 18-35 year olds.

“”Get Your Money Right” is a hot and important topic for the hip-hop generation,” said Russell Simmons, Chairman of HSAN. “Through hip-hop artists, the generous support and vision of partners like Chrysler Financial, and leading experts in the field of personal finance like Suze Orman, we intend to make personal finance more interesting and accessible to millions of young people, as we open the door wider for them to achieve their higher aspirations.”

Through the tour and its website, HSAN will disseminate important information to young people about financial literacy much in the way it reached millions of young people last year about the importance of voting.

“The Hip Hop Summit Action Network, with its pulse on youth culture, and access to millions of young people, is the right partner in our quest to help the next generation of Americans make smart decisions with their finances,” said William Jones, Jr., Vice President- Chrysler Financial.

“Americas youth are bright, ambitious, yet face very different challenges today, than even their parents did when it comes to personal finance,” said Suze Orman, host of CNBCs “The Suze Orman Show” and author of the recently released New York Times bestseller, “The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous, And Broke.” “Providing them the resources they need to be successful is the critical first step in helping them to secure their financial futures.”

“HSAN is serious about spitting truth to power,” declared Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of HSAN. “The Hip-Hop Summit on Financial Empowerment Tour is an important opportunity to transform the lives and conditions of those who yearn for a better way of life.”

Tour Details:
The Hip-Hop Summit on Financial Empowerment National Tour will convene in six major markets across the United States, beginning in Detroit, Michigan on May 14, 2005 at 11am in the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Avenue. The title sponsor of the Hip-Hop Summit on Financial Empowerment Tour is Chrysler Financial. The presenting sponsor is Anheuser-Busch, Inc. The program agenda of the Detroit Hip-Hop Summit will be replicated in the other markets to include a focus on financial literacy, basic banking, repairing and understanding credit scores, asset and wealth management, auto financing, home ownership and entrepreneurship.

The other cities and dates of the tour are:
June 7- Washington, D.C. -DC Convention Center
July 15- Miami, FL. – The Mansion, South Beach
August 20- St. Louis, MO. -Americas Center
September 17- Los Angeles, CA. -University of Southern California
November 5- Chicago, IL. -Venue to be announced.

About DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC The company provides brand-specific financing for automotive dealers” inventories and their retail consumers and does business as Mercedes-Benz Credit and Chrysler Financial. As DaimlerChrysler Services Truck Finance it also finances commercial vehicles for affiliate products such as Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star. The company serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and Puerto Rico and has more than 5,800 employees who manage a portfolio of more than $95 billion with nearly five million contracts. DaimlerChrysler Services North America is a member of DaimlerChrysler Financial Services, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, which operates in 39 countries with an employee base exceeding 10,800 and a global portfolio of approximately $139 billion. DaimlerChrysler Financial Services is one of the leading financial services companies worldwide. About Hip-Hop Summit Action Network

HSAN is a non-profit, non-partisan national coalition of artists, entertainment industry leaders, education advocates, civil rights proponents and youth leaders united in the belief that the “hip-hop” phenomena is an enormously influential agent for positive social change which must be responsibly and pro-actively utilized to fight the war on poverty and injustice.