Our Founder & CEO


Afra Smith is the Founder & CEO of The Melanin Project.  She is an entrepreneur, financial wellness coach and creator of  the AODEC financial wellness strategy which she uses to coach behavioral strategies that support building wealth.  

Afra formed The Melanin Project in 2019 as she recognized through her journey to becoming a financially well woman that her struggles were not unique.


With Afra leading the way, The Melanin Project is on a mission to advocate, educate, and provide financial wellness coaching that empowers Black and African women to start on a journey towards building generational wealth. 

Are you ready to join the movement?  

Start Your Journey

Feeling stuck? At a crossroads with your financials?  Even the strongest among us can feel lost, unsure, ambivalent, or unhappy at times. As a Financial Wellness Coach, I can help you understand your relationship with money and teach you the strategies you need to be successful in building generational wealth.  

I believe that you have the strength not just to survive, but to truly thrive.  Before you even start putting numbers on a spreadsheet, there are some things you need to know.  Its called AODEC.........


According to Forbes by 2053, the median wealth of black Americans will fall to zero.


African American households are making middle-income money, but have the wealth of a white high-school dropout.

Are you ready to join the wealth building movement?

Start Your Journey

Our Services


We coach you in understanding how to  create and maintain a budget, manage and reduce debt and start saving.


We empower you to build community.  We educate you on the financial public health crisis facing Black America and we encourage you to continue to educate yourself and those around you.  This helps build community. 


We coach you on behavioral strategies that will support you in building wealth. In order to be successful with managing your lifestyle you need to be aware of potential triggers.


We understand that many Black Americans are so impoverished that we must advocate for programs, systems and policies to help reduce the wealth gap.  The Melanin Project   supports the dismantling of systems that have supported the oppression of Black people for generations.  

Start Your Journey

Why Advocacy?

As of 2013, Black women had a median net worth of $200  compared to the median net worth of $15,640 for White women and $28,900 for White men

As of 2017, approximately, 8.4 million households don't have a banking account because they lack the funds necessary to open and maintain it.  Those households are disproportionately people of color; nearly half of Black households are unbanked or underbanked.  

Instick Media

In 2016, Black families, on average, had a net worth of 10 cents to the dollar of the typical White family, while women owned 32 cents on the dollar when compared to men. The intersection of those two gaps sees Black women bearing the brunt of wealth inequality. That wealth inequality is made worse by a pay gap in which Black women earn 61 cents for each dollar their White male counterparts do

Forbes Magazine

Neither a college education nor a lifetime of work has provided the true solution to closing the wealth inequality gap between single Black women and single White women, as single White women have benefited far more from wealth being passed down to them from their families in contrast to that of Black women. This leads White women to rely less on debts like student loans, in comparison to Black women. A member of a White family is twice as likely to receive an inheritance in comparison to a Black family member, and the inheritance received is usually three times larger than what the Black family member would have received. For those families with inheritances to give, the White family’s wealth is likely to be 7.5 times larger than that of the black family’s wealth. For every dollar of wealth owned by a typical White family, the median Black family owns just five cents.

Black Enterprise 

Let’s Engage

Phone: 608-616-0021    /     Email: info@themelaninproject2053.com

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Disclaimer:  The information and material on this website is for general informational purposes only.  While we try to keep the information up to date and correct, The Melanin Project LLC makes no representations or warranties about the completeness, accuracy, availability, or suitability of the information for any purpose.  Any reliance you place on information on this  website is strictly at your own risk.

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