Operation HOPE Press Releases

OPERATION HOPE ECONOMIC IMPACT NOW TOTALS MORE THAN $4 MILLION SINCE ONSET OF COVID-19 WITH ADDITION OF NEW $250K MINI-GRANT PROGRAM

ATLANTA – June 23, 2020 – Operation HOPE announced today the progress it has made in providing free financial recovery support services to individuals and small businesses since it activated HOPE Inside Disaster at the on-set of the COVID-19 business and school shutdowns. Since March 15, HOPE Inside Disaster has provided or secured in-kind and direct assistance totaling more than $4 million. More than 55,600 COVID-19-related services have been provided to nearly 14,000 individuals and small business owners, directly or in conjunction with community partners, including American Red Cross and United Way, and federal, state, and local government partners. In addition, HOPE Inside Disaster’s Financial Coaches have helped clients secure more than $1.3 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) small business loans and other pandemic relief funds. Operation HOPE has secured more than $2.58 million from corporations and foundations, including U.S. Bank Foundation, The UPS Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Steans Family Trust, NFL Foundation, Nextdoor, KKR, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, RBC Bank, Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation, and First Republic Bank, in financial and in-kind support to HOPE Inside Disaster to help it provide these vital financial recovery services at no-cost to clients. Operation HOPE has also launched its program to provide $250,000 in mini-grants to clients and employees in need.


“The impact of COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on our country, and while we are seeing some encouraging progress as hospitalizations and fatalities decline in some regions and local economies begin to open back up, the financial strain on so many families and businesses continues,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. “We are proud that Operation HOPE has been able to help thousands of people free-of-charge, and we are appreciative of the support of all our partners who have also leaned in for those who need help the most. We are working every day to continue to provide these vital economic and social support services as millions of Americans continue to face challenging times.”


Operation HOPE’s mini-grant program provides small, one-time direct financial assistance grants for clients to use for utilities, rent/mortgage or credit card payments. Funded by Operation HOPE’s own resources, the purpose of the mini-grant program is to provide a meaningful impact to improve clients’ financial well-being during this difficult time. Once a client completes three financial counseling sessions with an Operation HOPE Financial Wellbeing Coach, they will be eligible to apply for a grant, which will range from $50-500. Payments will be submitted directly to their creditor on their behalf. Also part of the mini-grant program, Operation HOPE has launched its Employee Assistance Program to provide a one-time grant to assist if an employee’s household is experiencing a financial hardship. The grants will also range from $50-500 and payment will be submitted directly to their creditor on their behalf.


“We are excited to implement our mini-grant program for clients and employees. We know that these small, one-time grants can be game-changers that can make a meaningful difference by bridging one-time gaps to help a client through a short-term financial difficulty and better position them for longer term success,” said Mr. Bryant.


To access Operation HOPE’s free financial counseling services, impacted individuals and small businesses are encouraged to call the HOPE Inside Disaster hotline at 1-888-388-HOPE (4673), visit the HOPE Inside Disaster website, or download the HOPE in Hand mobile app (available on both Apple and Android platforms) to be connected with a financial disaster recovery specialist who will assess their situation and provide personalized coaching and assistance.


Organizations that wish to provide financial or in-kind support to HOPE Inside Disaster may contact Mary Ehrsam, President of HOPE Partnerships, at 646-496-7449 or mary.ehrsam@operationhope.org.


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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE has received five consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope


Contact
Bill Mendel
212-397-1030
bill@mendelcommunications.com

Brian Betts Named New President and Chief Financial Officer of Operation HOPE

ATLANTA – June 18, 2020 – Operation HOPE today announced the appointment of Brian Betts as President and Chief Financial Officer, effective June 10. Betts has served as Chief Financial Officer and interim Chief Operating Officer since November 2019. He has more than 20 years of experience in auditing, accounting operations, and strategic planning. In his expanded role, he will oversee the continued growth of Operation HOPE, which has experienced a 98% increase in financial support services provided to clients and added 31 new HOPE Inside locations around the country (now totaling 155) since he joined the organization in 2018.


Prior to joining Operation HOPE, Betts worked specifically in the nonprofit industry for 10 years, specializing in developing accounting systems and implementing processes to streamline accounting functions while adhering to federal and state requirements. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee and earned his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Memphis. He has active CPA licenses in both Tennessee and Georgia.


“It is an honor and privilege to work with the talented and experienced team at Operation HOPE,” Betts said. “During these challenging economic times, Operation HOPE plays a more important role than ever in providing financial dignity to all.”


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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE has received five consecutive 4-star charity ratings for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator.


For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope


Media Contact
Bill Mendel
212-397-1030
bill@mendelcommunications.com

Operation HOPE Announces a New Marshall Plan for National Economic Recovery

ATLANTA – June 9, 2020 – Operation HOPE announced that it has begun work to galvanize private sector, federal public sector as well as non-governmental organization backing for its founder’s vision for a New Marshall Plan, a comprehensive set of legislative and regulatory policies that address inequality in our economy and harness the untapped potential of millions of African Americans, who have been disproportionately affected by both the health and economic impacts COVID-19. This urgent need for transformative and coordinated policy changes are further compounded by the recent civil unrest in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. The New Marshall Plan includes legislative action to implement Education for All, Financial Literacy for All, Access to Job Opportunity for All to ensure a Living Wage for All, and Access to Capital for All. Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hope Bryant recently published his New Marshall Plan on the Milken Institute’s Power of Ideas platform. The plan seeks to establish a new path forward to economic recovery both for the United States as a whole following the most dramatic economic downturn in its history as well as for its African American community, which has historically been left out of previous economic resurgences in this country. The New Marshall Plan seeks to add 1%-2% to annual GDP through a federally incentivized reinvestment plan that would be supported by the private sector. Operation HOPE has engaged its Fortune 500, national and regional financial institution, foundation, and community partners as well as members of Congress and the White House Administration to secure commitments to implement the New Marshall Plan policies as outlined. “Rainbows only follow storms – and the storms that our country and especially our African American community are experiencing right now are severe. The New Marshall Plan is a path forward – one that is rooted in education, financial literacy and opportunity that will lead to more and better jobs, higher GDP, and a stronger, more resilient America,” said Mr. Bryant. The plan has already received support from Operation HOPE’s growing corporate partners, including some of the largest manufacturers and service companies in America as well as similar regional companies and small businesses. Over the past 90 days, these private sector businesses have committed to prioritizing job training, mentorships, and apprenticeships to minority communities. For more information about the New Marshall Plan, please contact Bill Fair, Managing Director – HOPE Inside Disaster COVID-19 Response, at bill.fair@OperationHOPE.org, or Elaine Hungenberg, Executive Vice President – HOPE Research Institute, at Elaine.Hungenberg@OperationHOPE.org. Organizations interested in reaching into underserved communities and to discuss joining the effort to implement The New Marshall Plan can contact Mary Ehrsham, President of Operation HOPE Partnerships, at Mary.hagerty@operationhope.org 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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope Media Contact Bill Mendel 212-397-1030 bill@mendelcommunications.com

Operation HOPE Receives Commitments from U.S. Bank, UPS, and Fifth Third Bank to Support Financial Counseling Services for Individuals and Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

ATLANTA – March 30, 2020 Operation HOPE today announced that U.S. Bank, UPS, and Fifth Third Bank have made financial commitments to support Operation HOPE’s efforts to provide financial coaching for individuals and small businesses affected by the nationwide economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will support HOPE Inside Disaster, the centralized arm of Operation HOPE’s national disaster and preparedness division that provides free virtual financial coaching services to those affected by COVID-19, with a focus on individuals, families and small businesses in low- to moderate-income communities.
 
Operation HOPE was one of three national partners to receive a commitment from U.S. Bank as part of its comprehensive response efforts to support its employees, customers and communities, which total $60 million. U.S. Bank has been a partner of Operation HOPE for a decade, and later this year, Operation HOPE is scheduled to open HOPE Inside at two U.S. Bank locations in Denver and Chicago. Prior to this recent commitment for HOPE Inside Disaster, UPS has been a longstanding partner to Operation HOPE since 2013, through Operation HOPE-provided financial wellness programming for UPS employees and UPS-provided grants and in-kind services to support previous HOPE Inside Disaster relief efforts. Fifth Third Bank has also been a longstanding partner to Operation HOPE, which includes support for HOPE Inside programming in Detroit that provides financial literacy, entrepreneurship training and small business technical assistance throughout Detroit communities.
 
“Since announcing the activation of HOPE Inside Disaster for those financially impacted by the coronavirus last week, Operation HOPE has received tremendous support from our corporate partners that want to work with us to help alleviate the stress and uncertainty for individuals and small businesses affected by this unprecedented national crisis,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Operation HOPE. “We are proud to partner with U.S. Bank, UPS, and Fifth Third Bank on this effort, and are humbled by their continued confidence in Operation HOPE to be there for the many Americans facing job or income loss, small business disruption and/or credit issues today, as we have for so many years and in response to so many other crisis situations before.
For more than 19 years, Operation HOPE has activated HOPE Inside Disaster in times of need, and it is one of the nation’s first lines of response for financial recovery to support individuals facing the reality of job loss, business interruption, credit issues, and debt.
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HOPE Inside Disaster’s free virtual financial services for those impacted by COVID-19 include:
·      Small business support / SBA lending
·      Consumer credit / debt deferment
·      Homeownership mortgage deferment / foreclosure prevention
·      Student loan deferment
·      Financial disaster budget planning
·      Money management education
·      Credit counseling
·      Gateway to newly announced federal assistance programs (FEMA)
·      Basic needs referrals: food, shelter, clothing

 

 To access these services, impacted individuals and small businesses are encouraged to call the HOPE Inside Disaster hotline at 1-888-388-HOPE (4673) or visit the HOPE Inside Disaster website to be connected with a financial disaster recovery specialist who will assess their situation and provide personalized coaching and assistance.

Created following 9/11, HOPE Inside Disaster, powered by HOPE Coalition America (HCA) and Operation HOPE, is one of the leading financial emergency preparedness and recovery services in the U.S. Through partnerships with the American Red Cross, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and industry leaders, HOPE teams deploy in response to federally declared disasters to serve as a financial advocate for affected homeowners, renters, and small business owners. HOPE financial wellbeing coaches help impacted individuals and small businesses mitigate credit issues, develop emergency budget counseling, communicate with creditors, obtain Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, prevent foreclosure, and prepare for the future.

Organizations that wish to provide financial or in-kind support to HOPE Inside Disaster may contact Mary Ehrsam, President of HOPE Partnerships, at 646-496-7449 or mary.ehrsam@operationhope.org.

To learn more about HOPE Inside Disaster, visit https://www.hopeinsidecovid19.org/recovery

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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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator.
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For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

Operation HOPE to Provide Virtual Financial Recovery Support to Individuals and Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

ATLANTA – March 20, 2020 Operation HOPE today announced that it has activated HOPE Inside Disaster for individuals and small businesses to receive free virtual financial recovery support in response to the nationwide economic impact of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. For more than 19 years, HOPE Inside Disaster has been the centralized arm of Operation HOPE’s national disaster and preparedness division, and one of the nation’s first lines of response for financial recovery to support individuals facing the reality of job loss, business interruption, credit issues, and debt.

 

HOPE Inside Disaster’s free virtual financial services for those impacted by
COVID-19 include:
·      Credit education and coaching
·      Financial disaster budget planning for individuals and families
·      Money management education and coaching
·      Assistance with financial disaster recovery creditor and mortgage debt deferment
·      Guidance and assistance referrals in the following areas:
       – Food
       – Clothing
       – Shelter
       – FEMA assistance

 

To access these services, impacted individuals and small businesses are encouraged to call the HOPE Inside Disaster hotline at 1-888-388-HOPE (4673) or visit the HOPE Inside Disaster website to be connected with a financial disaster recovery specialist who will assess their situation and provide personalized coaching and assistance.

“The mandated business closures and social distancing measures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 are already severely impacting U.S. employment and are having a catastrophic effect on the small business community and its employees. The dedicated team of counselors at HOPE Inside Disaster are prepared to help individuals and small businesses across the country navigate this crisis,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Operation HOPE. “Over the past 19 years, our team has helped more than 1.3 million disaster survivors with financial recovery services, and we are fully deploying our resources for those affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

 

Created following 9/11, HOPE Inside Disaster, powered by HOPE Coalition America (HCA) and Operation HOPE, is one of the leading financial emergency preparedness and recovery services in the U.S. Through partnerships with the American Red Cross, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and industry leaders, HOPE teams deploy in response to federally declared disasters to serve as a financial advocate for affected homeowners, renters, and small business owners. HOPE financial wellbeing coaches help impacted individuals and small businesses mitigate credit issues, develop emergency budget counseling, communicate with creditors, obtain Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, prevent foreclosure, and prepare for the future.

Organizations that wish to provide financial or in-kind support to HOPE Inside Disaster may contact Mary Ehrsam, President of HOPE Partnerships, at 646-496-7449 or mary.ehrsam@operationhope.org.

To learn more about HOPE Inside Disaster, visit https://www.hopeinsidecovid19.org/recovery

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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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. 

For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Athene USA Partners with Operation HOPE

Athene USA Partners with Operation HOPE to Champion
Financial Empowerment at BISA 2020 Convention

 

Attendees encouraged to “pull a block for HOPE” to support the work of financial dignity
and empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE

 

ATLANTA – March 6, 2020 – Operation HOPE, a non-profit that provides financial literacy
education and coaching to Americans of all ages, is pleased to announce it received a $12,000
donation from Athene USA (“Athene”), a leading provider of retirement savings products. The
donation was made as part of Athene’s presence during the 2020 Bank Insurance & Securities
Association (BISA) convention and marked the second year of Athene’s partnership with
Operation HOPE.

 

The majority of Americans in underserved communities live without financial opportunity, many
in a generational cycle of poverty. Athene partnered with Operation HOPE to spotlight a critical
issue in America – the lack of financial knowledge, which is at the core of generational poverty.
When the conference participants arrived at Athene’s booth, they were encouraged to
“pull a block for HOPE” as part of an oversized Jenga game feature to support the nonprofit’s mission.
When participants who successfully removed a block with a dollar amount, Athene pledged to
donate that amount of money to Operation HOPE.

 

“We are grateful for Athene’s support for our mission and honored that our work was highlighted
at the BISA convention again this year,” said Mary Ehrsam, President of Partnerships, Operation
HOPE. “This support will allow us to extend our impact in communities across the country.
Athene continues to support us in a creative way that goes beyond routine community service,
which helps us extend the exposure of our mission. We are very grateful for the donation and
partnership.”

 

Each participant received an Operation HOPE lapel pin. The symbolic red arrow depicted in the
pin’s design represents the journey to a more secure financial future. This brand element is
used to illustrate the transformative mindset of HOPE and the personal and community
uplift that Operation HOPE empowers.

 

“Athene is committed to supporting and advocating for causes that help people of all ages better
secure their financial future,” said Rod Mims, SVP of National Sales at Athene. “Our
commitment to community is an integral part of our core values. The partnership with Operation
HOPE at the BISA conference gave us an opportunity to further their mission to empower adults
and youth with the tools of financial knowledge to help create a secure future.”

 

# # #

 

About Operation HOPE

 

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 the underserved—disrupting
poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation.
Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year
recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million
individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic
inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business
internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting
FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for
fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-
profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow
Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationHOPE

 

About Athene USA

 

Athene USA is a subsidiary of Athene Holding Ltd, a leading retirement services company that
had total assets of $146.9 billion as of December 31, 2019. Athene USA is an Iowa-domiciled
corporation that serves as the U.S. holding company for Athene’s annuity operations in the
United States. Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, Athene USA serves customers in all
50 states, and through its predecessor companies, has been serving American consumers for
more than 100 years. Further information about Athene can be found at

John Hope Bryant to participate in U.S. Treasury’s Freedman’s Bank Forum

The Forum will honor the Bank’s legacy; discuss economic opportunity for all Americans.

ATLANTA – March 2, 2020 – John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Operation HOPE, will participate in the Freedman’s Bank Forum to be hosted by the U.S. Department of Treasury tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The Forum commemorates the 155th anniversary of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company’s charter. Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, commonly referred to as the Freedman’s Bank, was created to provide economic opportunity for newly emancipated Americans.

Bryant will participate in a panel discussion entitled, The Legacy of Freedman’s Bank in the Pursuit of Building Wealth, with Kenneth Kelly, Chairman and CEO, First Independence Bank, and Chairman, National Bankers Association; and Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO, Chase Consumer Banking. The panel will provide context for the historical significance of the Freedman’s Bank and the promising future of private sector efforts to support wealth building for all Americans.

“I am pleased to join this important conversation on economic opportunity and the empowerment of our American communities,” Bryant said. “The mission of Operation HOPE connects the legacy of the Freedman’s Bank established by President Abraham Lincoln and the second part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s integration dream—it is our work on the ground through our nationwide HOPE Inside network every day to ensure silver rights, for all.”

On January 7, 2016, at the urging of Bryant, then Treasury Secretary Jack Lew publicly renamed the Treasury Annex Building, The Freedman’s Bank Building, in honor of the site where the Freedman’s Savings Bank once stood, making Bryant the only private American citizen to inspire the renaming of a building on the White House campus.

The Forum will have multiple panels featuring prominent regulatory officials and private and non-profit sector leaders. The speakers will focus on honoring the legacy of the Freedman’s Bank and discuss the important role that Minority Depository Institutions play in broad-based economic growth, and public and private strategies to address the financial health and community and economic development. The panels include:

  • Minority Depository Institution Preservation;
  • Expanding Banking Opportunities Through Innovation and Partnerships;
  • Investing in Entrepreneurs and Businesses; and
  • Financial Literacy and Building Wealth.

Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Robert L. Johnson (Founder and Chairman, The RLJ Companies; Founder and former Chairman, Black Entertainment Television) will participate in a fireside chat to discuss the Forum’s goals, which include promoting opportunities that support economic development for all American communities. The Department of the Treasury is hosting the Forum with the participation of the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

“I commend Secretary Mnuchin for his leadership in standing up the Freedman’s Bank Forum, and honoring this unheralded legacy of industrious former slaves who literally gave their all for this country’s uplift. Now we seek to honor theirs,” Bryant said.

The Freedman’s Bank Forum will be livestreamed here beginning at 8:00 a.m. EST.

Full schedule of events and speakers.

Learn more about the Freedman’s Bank: freedmansbank.org

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About John Hope Bryant
American Banker 2016 “Innovator of the Year”, John Hope Bryant, is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and prominent thought leader on financial inclusion, economic empowerment and financial dignity. Bryant is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc.; and chairman and chief executive officer of Bryant Group Ventures, and The Promise Homes Company, the largest for-profit minority-controlled owners of institutional-quality, single-family residential rental homes in the U.S. His work has been recognized by the last five U.S. presidents, and he has served as an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents. He is responsible for financial literacy becoming the policy of the U.S. federal government. Bryant has been recognized as one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs 2018 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2018, he received the Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He has been named in the Atlanta Business Chronicle‘s “100 Most Influential Atlantans” listing for the past four consecutive years. His latest book, The Memo: Five Rules for Your Economic Liberation (Berrett-Koehler, September 2017), debuted as the #1 new release in budgeting and money management on Amazon. Bryant regularly appears as a guest co-host on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
http://www.johnhopebryant.com/

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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

John Hope Bryant speaks at Lake Nona Institute Impact Forum

Interactive discussion featuring Ambassador Andrew Young entitled: Zip Code > Genetic Code: Decoding Factors Impacting Health

ATLANTA – Feb. 28, 2020 – John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Operation HOPE, spoke yesterday at the Lake Nona Institute Impact Forum 2020. Bryant was joined by the Honorable Andrew Young, HOPE Global Spokesman; Chairman, Andrew J. Young Foundation, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, to discuss how where you live impacts your financial and physical wellbeing. Ambassador Young was recognized by Lake Nona Institute leadership with a special tribute for his years of impact and contributions to civil rights and inclusion, and received a sustained standing ovation from Forum attendees. The best-in-class work of Operation HOPE around financial wellness through the HOPE Inside programming model was also highlighted by Bryant and recognized by the Institute for its distinct connection to individual physical health and wellbeing — decreasing client financial stress is a significant HOPE impact indicator.

The Lake Nona Impact Forum is committed to leading the conversation for building the Wellbeing Ecosystem of the Future, by exploring the intersections of health, wellness, medical and scientific innovation and strategies to optimize human performance. The three-day event, scheduled Feb. 26-28 this year, is held in Lake Nona Medical City in Orlando, Florida, a life sciences and healthcare cluster of excellence featuring some of the nation’s top universities, hospitals, and research institutions.

More than 300 thought leaders have gathered for the invitation-only event. Other notable speakers include, Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, U.S. Tennis Association; Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, Co-Founder Chopra Foundation, Chairman Chopra Global; Russell Wilson, Super Bowl Champion and Seattle Seahawks Quarterback; Brooke Shields, Actress, Model & Author; Patrice Harris, MD, President, American Medical Association; Sanjay Gupta, MD; Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN, Staff Neurosurgeon, Emory University School of Medicine, Associate Chief of Neurosurgery, Grady Memorial Hospital; and Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, Principal Deputy Commissioner & Acting CIO, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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About John Hope Bryant
American Banker 2016 “Innovator of the Year”, John Hope Bryant, is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and prominent thought leader on financial inclusion, economic empowerment and financial dignity. Bryant is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc.; and chairman and chief executive officer of Bryant Group Ventures, and The Promise Homes Company, the largest for-profit minority-controlled owners of institutional-quality, single-family residential rental homes in the U.S. His work has been recognized by the last five U.S. presidents, and he has served as an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents. He is responsible for financial literacy becoming the policy of the U.S. federal government. Bryant has been recognized as one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs 2018 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2018, he received the Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He has been named in the Atlanta Business Chronicle‘s “100 Most Influential Atlantans” listing for the past four consecutive years. His latest book, The Memo: Five Rules for Your Economic Liberation (Berrett-Koehler, September 2017), debuted as the #1 new release in budgeting and money management on Amazon. Bryant regularly appears as a guest co-host on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
http://www.johnhopebryant.com/

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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

John Hope Bryant to serve as First Republic Bank Community Advisory Board Chair

ATLANTA – Feb. 27, 2020 – John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Operation HOPE, has been appointed Chair of the First Republic Bank Community Advisory Board. The mission of First Republic’s Community Advisory Board is to further strengthen the bank’s fair lending and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) programs for low-to-moderate income and underserved minority communities. The Board provides strategic guidance that advances the bank’s initiatives regarding affordable housing, small business and economic development, and financial empowerment. Bryant has served as a member of the Community Advisory Board for more than three years.

“I am honored to continue to help facilitate positive dialogue between First Republic Bank and key stakeholders in underserved communities, to promote collaboration and create sustainable impact in those communities,” Bryant said.

First Republic’s Community Advisory Board members include, Faith Bautista, president and Chief Executive Officer, National Asian American Coalition (NAAC), and president and Chief Executive Officer, National Diversity Coalition (NDC); Susan M. Ifill, Chief Executive Officer, Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (NHSNYC); and Claudia Viek, founder and catalyst, Invest In Women Entrepreneurship Initiative.

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About John Hope Bryant
American Banker 2016 “Innovator of the Year”, John Hope Bryant, is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and prominent thought leader on financial inclusion, economic empowerment and financial dignity. Bryant is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc.; and chairman and chief executive officer of Bryant Group Ventures, and The Promise Homes Company, the largest for-profit minority-controlled owners of institutional-quality, single-family residential rental homes in the U.S. His work has been recognized by the last five U.S. presidents, and he has served as an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents. He is responsible for financial literacy becoming the policy of the U.S. federal government. Bryant has been recognized as one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs 2018 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2018, he received the Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He has been named in the Atlanta Business Chronicle‘s “100 Most Influential Atlantans” listing for the past four consecutive years. His latest book, The Memo: Five Rules for Your Economic Liberation (Berrett-Koehler, September 2017), debuted as the #1 new release in budgeting and money management on Amazon. Bryant regularly appears as a guest co-host on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
http://www.johnhopebryant.com/

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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

Sirjames Buchanon named Chief Community Officer of Operation HOPE

ATLANTA – Feb. 14, 2020 – Operation HOPE today announced the appointment of Sirjames Buchanon as Chief Community Officer, effective immediately. Buchanon has served as Confidential Assistant to Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer John Hope Bryant, for the past seven years.

In this new role Buchanon will serve as the organization’s nationwide community-facing officer, and as the founder’s lead community representative in Atlanta, where HOPE’s global headquarters is located. He will also serve as the organization’s chief community risk management officer and as a bridge to community partners and the HOPE Development Group for joint grant opportunities. In collaboration with HOPE’s Office of Government Relations and Public Policy, Buchanon will also act as HOPE’s in-house expert on civil rights and silver rights legislation and regulation highlights; including civil rights acts, housing acts, etc. He will also continue in the capacity of Confidential Assistant to the Chairman.


“Sirjames is a dedicated leader that has worked to support and protect the mission of HOPE,” said Bryant. “In this new role, he will have an expanded outlook and reach to expand the work of HOPE and the Silver Rights Movement. I am pleased to have him join our executive team.”

Buchanon is a retired District Program Manager of Recreation Services from DeKalb County Government. He also served as Program Manager and Deputy Director of AmeriCorps Schools programs at Hands on Atlanta from 2005 – 2012. Buchanon is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in counseling from Bryson University.

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About Operation HOPE
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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low- and moderate-income families across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

Operation HOPE is a for-purpose organization working to disrupt poverty and empower inclusion for low and moderate-income youth and adults.

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