Harlem_hope_center_001Reverend Dr. Cecil "Chip" Murray, the former pastor of First AME Church, the current Tanzi Chair of Religious Studies at USC, and my spiritual father and mentor, leads an interactive roundtable discussion with editorial board leadership and writers at the Los Angeles Times recently.

Seated around the table, in addition to Los Angeles Times personnel, are (L to R) Steve Johnson, chief financial officer for Faithful Central Church, Reverend Dr. Cecil "Chip" Murray, Dr. Lula Ballton, executive director of the West Angeles Church of Christ CDC, Jackie Dupont Walker, executive director, WARD Economic Development Corporation, me (not pictured) and Carl Ballton, president of the Union Bank Foundation (and yes, Lula and Carl are married). We plan to do a number of these in the months to come, with a focus on introducing a new generation, spirit and face of future leadership of and for African Americans in Los Angeles; building upon the solid foundation of civil rights, faith, community and business leaders that came before of course. Individuals defined not by what they are against, but rather what they are for. Of course, we all gladly follow the lead of Dr. Cecil Murray, Bishop Charles E. Blake, John W. Mack and countless others who have made Los Angeles what it is today, quoting John W. Mack, "the Ellis Island of the 21st century."

Onward with HOPE

John Hope Bryant

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