I am always happy to travel to mother South Africa, but particularly proud this week, as I am traveling with a U.S. Congressional Delegation, led by my friend and home Congressional Representative, Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, Ph.D.
While in South Africa we will help inaugurate a library in the name of Rosa Parks, and I will co-lead an Operation HOPE, Banking on Our Future, South Africa teaching session to and for young people there. We have made a commitment to reach, teach and empower 50,000 women and children in (a course in) dignity, financial literacy (the language of money), and entrepreneurship (there are not enough jobs to go around, so we must create what I call "self employment projects" and where we can, entrepreneurs).
Capping this week's trip, Operation HOPE celebates the 2-year anniversary of and for Operation HOPE, South Africa, our results to date, and the ongoing commitment of our partners in country, including the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, CIDA University, IFC at the World Bank Group, Citigroup, South Africa and Duetsche Bank, South Africa, amongst others. All of this, in preparation for and run up to our HOPE Global Financial Literacy Summit, scheduled for June 16th and 17th, 2009, in SE, Washington, DC. Confirmed summit speakers include US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, FDIC Chair Sheila Bair, civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young (our HOPE Global Spokesman), and more than 50 speakers from 6 continents.
In addition to the full and formal Delegation schedule this week, I will hopefully have an opportunity to meet with my fellow YGL's (Young Global Leaders) from South Africa while here for dinner. South Africa is a wonderful, even magical country, and if and when you come here you will not want to leave.
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, America's first non-profit social investment banking organization. His work and advocacy at HOPE led then President Bush to sign an executive order making financial literacy U.S. policy. Today, Bryant continues to serve as vice chairman of the non-partisan U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy as well as chairman of the Council Committee on the Under-Served, in President Barack Obama's Administration. Bryant is also the financial literacy advisor to the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Financial Empowerment, and in 2005 was selected in the inaugural class of Young Global Leaders for the World Economic Forum. In August, 2009, Bryant will publish his latest book entitled LOVE LEADERSHIP; A New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World, BY Jossey-Bass.