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As Country Wrestles with Spending Cuts, Hill Harper Encourages Responsible Personal Financial Management

Actor and author joins MassMutual and NBA's Memphis Grizzlies to close out Black History Month with Financial Education Program for Memphis Youth

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Even as our nation faces tough budget cuts and families struggle to balance their own budgets, Hill Harper, actor and author, joins forces with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Mike Conley and Quincy Pondexter of the Memphis Grizzlies (Grizzlies) and Memphis City Schools (MCS) to provide key financial education to 3,500 eighth-grade students across the city.

MassMutual and the Grizzlies have enlisted the help of one of the most well respected public figures in the African-American community, Hill Harper, to close out the significant celebrations of Black History Month. Harper, who currently stars in the hit television drama CSI: NY, is a passionate advocate for youth and the empowerment that financial education can bring them. Harper is a firm believer in the transformative power of education, graduating magna cum laude from Brown University and earning a J.D. and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University.

"I'm so excited to share my work to cultivate financial literacy with the youth of Memphis," said Harper. "This collaboration with MassMutual and the Memphis Grizzlies players allows me to extend my mission to help young people understand that they don't have to use money as an excuse for not living the best version of their lives."

"Professional athletes often are portrayed as being big spenders during our careers," said Mike Conley, point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies. "Quincy and I are excited to be part of this Financial Literacy Forum with Hill Harper to show that professional athletes realize the importance of starting from a young age to learn about financial responsibility. Many of us are working hard to reach our financial goals for retirement."

As Americans wrap up the celebration and retrospective of Black History Month in February, MassMutual, Harper and the Grizzlies, along with their key players Pondexter and Conley, proudly present an inspiring program on Feb. 28, "Building a Better Future with Financial Literacy," at FedExForum in Memphis. In attendance will be 3,500 eighth-grade students from the Memphis school system, Pondexter, Conley and local MassMutual representatives. The students will receive complementary copies of Harper's books, Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest your Destiny and Letters to a Young Sister: Define your Destiny.

"MassMutual is proud to support the community of Memphis with this financial education program for its students," said William Silvanic, Senior Vice President, MassMutual's Retirement Services Division. "We've had a great relationship with the city, employing 150 citizens of the greater-Memphis area at our location here and also serving as the retirement plan provider for the Memphis Grizzlies. Education is a valuable component of MassMutual's retirement plan program, and we are pleased to support the Grizzlies as they prepare not just for retirement but beyond. It is rewarding to see business and community come together to educate youth about financial responsibility at this very pivotal stage in their lives," he added.

Prior to the program at FedExForum, MassMutual local general agency Midsouth Financial Group also will host an Executive Breakfast. Invited guests include Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and community leaders, Grizzles representatives, and MCS personnel. Hill Harper will be the keynote speaker at the event.

For more information about how MassMutual is helping African Americans to build a financial legacy, visit massmututal.com/africanamerican.

About MassMutual

Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company's strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.

MassMutual's Retirement Services Division has been serving retirement plans for more than 65 years. It offers a full range of products and services for corporate, union, nonprofit and governmental employers' defined benefit, defined contribution and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. It serves approximately 3 million participants.

For more information, visit www.massmutual.com or find MassMutual on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. For information regarding MassMutual's Retirement Services Division, you may also visit massmutual.com/retire or find us on Facebook.com/RetireSmart and YouTube.com/RetireSmart.

Copyright ©2013 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and affiliates, Springfield, MA 01111-0001. All rights reserved.

CRN201502-169440

Contact:
Karen Lavariere-Sanchez
413-744-7660
[email protected]

SOURCE MassMutual

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