Bolstering Montclair, NJ’s Black Community Presence Through Culturally Specific Education That Empowers the Next Generation to Build Sustainable Wealth


MONTCLAIR, NJ, JANUARY 5, 2021—DIFFvelopment recently received a $5,000 grant from The Montclair Foundation in support of its Black Generational Wealth Program. This grant will help further DIFFvelopment’s mission of “Re-education that empowers aspiring Black visionaries to develop their world differently,” by offering 25 Montclair resident Black college students culturally specific theoretical and practical education that empowers them to overcome the wealth disparities contributing to the steady decline of the Black Montclair resident population, which has decreased from 32 percent in 2000 to 22 percent in 2019.

DIFFvelopment seeks to play a key role in redirecting this dim trajectory by arming the future of Montclair’s Black community with the mindset and tools they need to develop entrepreneurial solutions that benefit not only themselves, but future generations of Black Montclairians to come. “We are offering this program to Montclair resident Black college students because not only do they represent the collegiate Montclair demographic that is most economically disadvantaged, they also represent the post graduate demographic most acutely affected by employment and wealth disparities,” stated Co-Founder & President, Peter Markeeo Gillo.

With the majority of Black college students in the US coming from homes that have zero or negative net worth and 9.5 percent of Black Montclairians with incomes below the poverty level—higher than any other demographic in the township—it is crucial for Montclair resident Black college students to have opportunities to learn about what it means to build generational wealth in the face of familial and societal hurdles.

During the four-week entrepreneurial and financial educational experience, students will participate in DIFFvelopment’s one-of-a-kind Black Generational Wealth Workshop where they will examine their socioeconomic status in relation to the wealth-building process and explore entrepreneurship as a viable career option that facilitates economic advancement, build a community-minded business concept through one-on-one support, learn how to incorporate a business and have the opportunity to receive business incorporation fee sponsorship.

DIFFvelopment Co-Founder & President, Esi Kagale Agyeman Gillo was delighted when she initially received the news via The Montclair Foundation’s November 25, 2020 Instagram post. “As a Black Montclairian who was born and raised in Montclair, NJ, it is extremely heartening to have the chance to give back to my community, with the support of a local foundation, through the organization that I proudly lead. We are thankful for the opportunity to empower the next generation of Black Montclair home and business owners and look forward to working with The Montclair Foundation for years to come.”

About DIFFvelopment:

DIFFvelopment is a trailblazing 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that aims to play a key role in driving the creation of sustainable Black personal, generational and communal wealth by empowering the next generation of Black visionary leaders to prioritize historically and globally conscious community-minded entrepreneurial activity. Through its commitment to “Re-education that empowers aspiring Black visionaries to develop their world differently,” DIFFvelopment sustainably solves deep-seated historical knowledge and wealth gap issues, caused by centuries of global Black economic oppression.

For more information, please visit

About the Montclair Foundation:

The Montclair Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization was established to support not-for-profit organizations that meet health, educational, cultural, social service and quality of life needs in the greater Montclair community. It offers concerned citizens a way to assure the continuing vitality of Montclair and serves as a permanent conduit for charitable giving.

For more information, please visit