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Our Mission

Our Mission

The Melanin Project is on a mission to eradicate wealth disparities for women of the Black and African diaspora. Our programs support building generational wealth through advocacy, personal empowerment, and financial wellness coaching.

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Our Vision

  At The Melanin Project we imagine a world in which every single woman of the Black and African diaspora owns enough assets and wealth to leave to the next generation.   This is our project.

Join The Melanin Project Today!

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Founder & CEO

Picture of Afra Smith, Founder & CEO, The Melanin Project

"You can't heal what you aren't ready to be open about!"
Afra Smith

Afra Smith, the visionary Founder & CEO of The Melanin Project since its establishment in 2019, has transformed her personal struggles into a passionate mission to assist others.  Honored as a 2024 Woman to Watch by Brava Magazine and acknowledged as one of the most influential black leaders in 2023 by Madison365, Afra's journey serves as an inspiring narrative.


As a motivational speaker and the face of The Melanin Project brand, Afra openly shares her journey of overcoming a daunting $30,000 in debt, including a car loan, payday loans, credit cards, and a credit score in the mid-500s. In addition, the experience of being unbanked and dealing with the impact of a substantial amount of student loan debt.


Through rigorous research and her own financial wellness journey, Afra identified numerous barriers hindering Black women from building generational wealth. Now, as a financially empowered woman, Afra dedicates herself to spreading knowledge and experience as a motivational speaker, financial coach, and the visionary behind the annual Wealth Literacy Conference.


Picture of Afra Smith, Founder & CEO of The Melanin Project on the cover of Brava Magazine


Committed to her work with The Melanin Project, Afra designs and develops programs and services that empower women of the Black and African diaspora to take control of their finances, build generational wealth, and shape a better future for themselves and their families. She often emphasizes that "it is time for a new narrative," starting with her own story and those of countless other Black and African diaspora women engaging with The Melanin Project for support.

Afra, the creator of the AODEC financial wellness strategy, and the Bloom Where You are Planted, budget planner, employs behavioral approaches and an economic mobility framework to empower individuals to build wealth. Holding a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelors in Gerontology, and graduating from ACRE (Associates in Commercial Real Estate), Afra currently focuses on real estate investment as a means to build generational wealth.

If you're interested in booking Afra Smith for your next event, simply use the button below to engage and bring her inspiring insights to your audience!

Wisconsin's 51 most black influential leaders, Afra Smith

Stay Connected

Let's Engage

Drop us an email and we will get in touch with you soon.  If you would like to request our CEO to speak at your event please use our engagement inquiry form linked here.  

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