Operation HOPE Global Spokesman, Ambassador Andrew Young, Honored with the French Legion of Honor

Prestigious further honor recognizes Young’s exceptional contributions to human rights, equality and the advancement of global peace.

ATLANTA (October 26, 2023) – Operation HOPE today announced that its HOPE Global Forums (HGF) co-chair Ambassador Andrew Young, has been promoted to the rank of officer in the French Legion of Honor. This further honor recognizes his exceptional contributions to the world of diplomacy, human rights, and the advancement of global peace. A legendary figure in international policy and civil rights, the 91-year-old Young is also Operation HOPE’s global spokesman.

The French Legion of Honor, or Légion d’Honneur, is France’s highest distinction and one of the most revered awards worldwide. It was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to their country, as well as to humanity. Young’s longstanding dedication to these ideals has earned him this remarkable recognition. The award ceremony was attended by esteemed dignitaries, including France’s President Emmanuel Macron and French Ambassador to the United States Laurent Bili.

Young’s tireless efforts on the world stage have had a profound impact on society. He is celebrated for his work during the civil rights movement alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., where he played a crucial role in advancing the cause of equality and justice. His diplomatic career has included serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations during the Carter administration and as Mayor of Atlanta, where he was instrumental in transforming the city into a global metropolis.

In addition to his distinguished career as a public servant, Young is a devoted advocate for Operation HOPE’s mission to empower communities through financial literacy. Young’s involvement reflects his commitment to addressing economic disparities across diverse underserved communities through education and increased access to resources.

Organized by Operation HOPE, HGF convenes world leaders and influencers to tackle critical issues such as increasing homeownership, supporting small businesses, leveraging technology and improving the overall financial well-being of traditionally disenfranchised communities.

“Ambassador Young is an extraordinary man who deserves extraordinary recognition. His life’s work underscores the importance of diplomacy, human rights, and financial empowerment in an increasingly interconnected world,” said John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE.  “We are forever grateful for his deep commitment to advancing these ideals and celebrate him for being a true inspiration to us – as well as to future generations.”

Young expressed his gratitude stating, “I am deeply honored to receive the French Legion of Honor. This award is a testament to the enduring power of tenacity and a willingness to reach across the aisle for the sake of peace. Through the HOPE Global Forums, I’m certain that we can continue to make progress and create a better world for all.”

To learn more about Young’s involvement with the HOPE Global Forums, please click here.


About Ambassador Andrew Young

Ambassador Andrew Young is a civil rights activist and diplomat whose tireless efforts have shaped the course of history. For more than seven decades, he has been a driving force for positive change in the United States and around the world. Named the first Global HOPE Forums spokesman, Young’s involvement in Operation HOPE and his dedication to financial literacy initiatives reflects his deep commitment to addressing economic disparities and empowering underserved communities.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for everyone—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. In 2023, Operation HOPE was named to Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Award for pursuing innovation for good. Through its community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed nearly $4 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Operation HOPE recently received its eighth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability from the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: Join the conversation on social media at @operationHOPE.

Media Contact: Lalohni Campbell, Per/Se Media Group;

HOPE Contact: Kevin Boucher, Operation HOPE;

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