Operation HOPE Chairman and CEO John Bryant will announce today a new plan to bring economic self-sufficiency and revitalization to disadvantaged communities across America, at the Financial Literacy and Education Commission Meeting on Financial "Best Practices," set to take place at the Department of the Treasury at noon. Secretary John Snow will deliver opening remarks.

Operation HOPE’s new "Silver Rights Movement" promises to provide economic literacy training and promote homeownership and small business ownership to disadvantaged communities across the nation. The movement is committed to educating more than 160,000 urban youth nationwide, using a team of 1,000 professional HOPE Corps volunteers over a 60-day period. In addition, the initiative will implement a nationwide delivery system for financial literacy education of America’s youth.

Bryant will request support for the Silver Rights Movement and describe how the new initiative picks up where the Civil Rights Movement left off — by empowering thousands of students and individuals economically.

He will reveal how OHI has effectively provided training to over 147,000 students and hundreds of individuals through their various empowerment programs. Banking on Our Future (BOOF) is a program specifically designed to teach school children ages 8 to 18 the basics of banking and making and wise financial decisions in life.

Bryant will also touch on other various OHI programs, including HOPE Coalition and the HOPE Centers. The HOPE Coalition America was created in response to the tragedy of 9/11 as a partnership between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Citizen Corps, Federal Emergency Management Agency, USA Freedom Corps and Operation HOPE. Its primary function is to provide financial preparedness training for adults by using the EFFAK tool. The EFFAK is the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit in which users can record all of their important financial and personal information in preparation for unforeseen personal and community emergencies.

HOPE Centers provide a myriad of benefits to the community such as: banking, financial services, economic services, credit counseling, budgeting, investment planning, tax preparation, retirement planning down payment assistance and from time to time, problem resolution. Center locations target economically disadvantaged communities where these quality financial services are lacking.

OHI Digital Empowerment Programs are offered so people who may not have access to digital technology can take advantage of the InnerCity Cyber Cafe/s. These are centers which offer access to multiple computer terminals in a relaxed environment. Visitors are offered not just use of the computer, but training on how to surf the internet. Additionally, courses are offered through UCLA Extension and SmartForce.com for a discounted cost through the InnerCity Partnership.

Through programs like these, OHI continues to be one of the nation’s pioneer organizations training young and old alike, how to handle their savings, credit, and personal finances.

The HOPE organization has a long history of success; providing economic literacy training to over 147,000 school aged children and countless adults. On December 4, 2003 when President Bush signed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act creating the Financial Literacy and Education Commission it was Shonelle Blake, an OHI client that he choose to highlight and it was the outstanding work of Operation HOPE that he choose to honor.

OHI’s work was recognized again when Treasury Under-Secretary for Domestic Finance, Brian Roseboro, presented the 11th John Sherman Award for Excellence in Financial Education in October of 2004 to OHI, for its Banking on Our Future program.

About John W. Snow

John William Snow is the 73rd Secretary of the Treasury. Nominated by President Bush and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on January 13, 2003, Snow was sworn into office on February 3, 2003. As Secretary of the Treasury, Snow works closely with President Bush to strengthen economic growth and create jobs.

About The Financial Literacy and Education Commission

The Financial Literacy and Education Commission (the Commission) was established under Title V, the Financial Literacy and Education Improvement Act, which was part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, to improve financial literacy and education of persons in the United States.

The principal duties of the Commission include: (1) encouraging government and private sector efforts to promote financial literacy; (2) coordinating financial education efforts of the federal government, including the identification and promotion of best practices; (3) the development of a national strategy to promote financial literacy and education among all American consumers; (4) the establishment of a website to serve as a clearinghouse and provide a coordinated point of entry for information about federal financial literacy and education programs, grants, and other information; and (5) the establishment of a toll-free hotline available to members of the public seeking information about issues pertaining to financial literacy and education.

About John Bryant

A national community leader cited by the past four sitting U.S. presidents for his work to empower low-wealth communities across America and author of BANKING ON OUR FUTURE, a book on youth and family financial literacy by Beacon Press, John Bryant is a businessman, a former United Nations goodwill ambassador to the United States, a partner with former President Clinton in an effort to educate every child in Harlem, New York in financial literacy, a Presidential Appointee for President George W. Bush, a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum, the founder of Operation HOPE, and working with HOPE spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young, the author of a new movement in America, and a clear and compelling vision for the eradication of poverty in the 21st century; a movement called the Silver Rights Movement.

John Bryant is one of the most authoritative and compelling advocates for poverty eradication in America today. To the producer of the NBC Weekend Today Show John Bryant is "a revolutionary of our times," and to U.S. President George W. Bush, John Bryant is "a social entrepreneur."

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Operation HOPE, Inc. (OHI), is America’s first nonprofit social investment bank and a national provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment programs. Through ongoing collaborations and long-term partnerships with leading government, private sector, and community interests, OHI works to bring self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America’s inner-city communities. OHI’s HOPE Centers, a growing network of inner-city banking centers, have created more than 800 new homeowners and small business owners, more than $125 million in funded loans, and more than $210 million in commitments for homeownership and small business loans from their 250 bank and corporate partners. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and a network of private and community partners, OHI’s HOPE Coalition America has provi
ded free financial counseling and casework services to Americans affected by natural disasters and national emergencies in 125 cities in 35 states to date. Taken together, these programs make Operation HOPE the national leader in economic empowerment tools and services for the under-served in America. OHI and its programs can be found online at http://www.operationhope.org and http://www.hopecoalitionamerica.org .

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