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