New Economic Empowerment Program Picks Up Where Civil Rights Left Off

ZERMATT, Switzerland, June 30 /PRNewswire/ — Operation HOPE’s (OHI) Founder, Chairman and CEO John Bryant announced a new global movement toward economic empowerment at the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL) Inaugural Summit, sponsored by the World Economic Forum, on June 24-26. Bryant’s new "Silver Rights" movement is aimed at financial literacy and empowerment of the underserved.

Los Angeles-based Operation HOPE is a non-profit organization providing financial literacy, credit counseling and management, computer training, lending services and inspiration to the economically disadvantaged.

"If the 20th century was about issues of race and the color line, all over the world, or what we call civil rights, and the first civil right was the right to vote, then the 21st century will be about issues of class and poverty, in an economic era, or what I call silver rights, and the first silver right amongst many is financial literacy," Bryant said. "If you don’t know better, you cannot do better."

Based on the mission and progress of Operation HOPE, Bryant was invited to speak at the global poverty and development workshop session on the topic of "global best practices" to end poverty and inspire the wealthless. Operation HOPE serves as a model toward Bryant’s mission to eradicate poverty through financial literacy, economic education and economic empowerment.

This summit engaged The Forum of Young Global Leaders in the 2020 Initiative, a comprehensive effort addressing the complex challenges of today to shape a better world future, which focused on five key areas: global governance and security, development and poverty, education, environment and health. During this meeting, members developed global strategies to advance concrete actions toward a better world in the year 2020. This conference marked the first time the members met as a community.

The YGL committee consists of outstanding leaders from 68 countries around the world, aged 40 years or younger, who are committed to improving the state of the world. Members include Google Co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and actress Julia Ormond. In addition to Bryant, members attending this session included:

    * H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway     * Amy S. Butte, chief financial officer and EVP for the New York Stock       Exchange     * Bharrat Jagdeo, President of Guyana     * Dayanidhi Maran, Minister of Communications and Information Tech. of       India     * Kumi Naidoo, Secretary-General and CEO, Civicus-World Alliance for       Citizen Participation, South Africa     * Lily Habash, Office of the Prime Minister, Palestinian National       Authority     * H.M. Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Chair of YGL       Committee     * Taddy Blecher, CEO, CIDA City Campus, South Africa     * Justin Fox, editor-at-large, Fortune Magazine     * Belinda Stronarch, Member of the Liberal Cabinet, House of Commons,       Canada     * Bassem I. Awadallah, Minister of Finance of Jordan     * H.R.H. Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, chairman of Investment       Enterprises, Saudi Arabia     * Karim T. Kawar, ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the       United States 

The inaugural Forum of Young Global Leaders aims to "shake up traditional thinking and to bring a bold, forward-looking approach to the world," said Professor Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. Nearly 250 members make up the Forum of Young Global Leaders, which works in close cooperation with the World Economic Forum. Each year 200-300 exceptional individuals are identified, drawn from every region in the world and many disciplines and sectors. Together, they form a powerful international community aimed to impact the global future. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit, and is not tied to any political, partisan or national interests.

About John Bryant & Operation HOPE

Founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc. (OHI), America’s first non-profit social investment bank and a national provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment programs. As a national community leader, Bryant has been cited by the past four (sitting) U.S. presidents for his work to empower low wealth communities across America. 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. OHI’s Banking on Our Future program has delivered financial literacy education and related services to more than 147,000 children across the country. 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 provided free financial counselling 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

About The Forum of Young Global Leaders

The Forum of Young Global Leaders makes up an exciting, powerful network of leaders from 69 different countries. This group consists of delegates from around the world: 72 from Europe, 62 from North America, 49 from Asia, 19 from the Middle East and North Africa, 18 from sub-Saharan Africa and 17 from Latin America. Drawn from a pool of 8,000 candidates from around the world, the Forum of Young Global Leaders were nominated by a committee of 28 eminent international media leaders including CEO of Pearson, Marjorie Scardino; New York Times Company Chairman, Arthur Sulzberger; CEO of the Reuters Corp, Tom Glocer; and HDTV visionary Katsuji Ebisawa. The committee is chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Each year, around 200 Young Global Leaders are nominated to serve for a period of five years, ultimately forming a community of 1,111 by 2009. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, The Forum of Young Global Leaders is in the process of being incorporated as an independent, not-for-profit foundation, under the supervision of the Swiss Government. The Forum of Young Global Leaders was created by Professor Klaus Schwab in 2004 and acts in close cooperation with the World Economic Forum in their joint commitment to improving the state of the world. For more information and a detailed list of all Young Global Leaders, please visit Information is also available at our website,

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