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 Ribbon cutting event hosted by Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO
John Hope Bryant, HOPE Global Spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young,
HOPE Special Advisor Martin Luther King III, and HOPE Southeastern Board Member and Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall

(ATLANTA) — August 2, 2010 — Los Angeles-based nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE), the economic empowerment organization that has successfully educated, served and empowered more than 1.2 million Americans in the area of financial literacy and raised, funded and restructured more than $800 million in economic value for the underserved hosted a grand opening at their Atlanta regional office on July 29, 2010.

The open house celebrated the official opening of HOPE's regional office in Atlanta, which will house several regional staff, including HOPE Chairman John Hope Bryant. Along with the open house reception and ribbon cutting ceremonies at the new Peachtree Street offices, HOPE launched two hotlines focused on helping those needing economic counseling. The Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline and the HOPE Consumer Credit Crisis Hotlines are a part of Operation HOPE's commitment to support residents of Georgia and the Southeast Region.

"My mentor and HOPE Global Spokesman, Ambassador Andrew Young once told me that living in a capitalistic society with no access to capital is a sophisticated form of slavery," said business best selling author John Hope Bryant. "Through the launch of our Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline and the HOPE Consumer Credit Crisis Hotline, as well as the opening of our regional offices here and soon, our HOPE Center, to be located at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Operation HOPE is committed to helping underserved individuals and low-income families in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast better understand our economic system and provide them with a hand up not a hand out."

HOPE's ribbon cutting ceremony and open house reception brought leaders from the banking sector, community, government, and clergy together to celebrate the permanent establishment of HOPE in the region. Representing Mayor Kasim Reed's office, Candace Byrd said, "The American dream of homeownership is being tested by a foreclosure epidemic that not only threatens the stability of our economy but also the stability of family and neighborhoods. That's why it's all the more important that we are here to celebrate the opening of Operation HOPE's Atlanta regional office."

Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Church and HOPE partner in the new and coming HOPE Center to be located at the Martin Luther King Sr. Resource Facility blessed the new offices. Lending words to the momenteous occasion were Ambassador Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III, and Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall.

In attendance were such notables as State Senator Donzella James; daughter of civil rights icon Hosea Williams and board member for Hosea, Dr. Barbara Williams-Emerson; Executive Director of the Andrew Young Foundation, Andrea Young; and President of Clark Atlanta University, Carlton Brown; among others.

Several HOPE Board members were active participants including President of Primerica Life Insurance Company, Jeff Fendler; IT Vendor Relations Manager for SunTrust Bank, Pernell Smalley; President of ABBA Associates Inc., William "Bill" Cheeks.

Local staff based out of the new Atlanta offices are Shari Abbott-Aranda for the Office of the Chairman, James Bailey for Banking on Our Future, College Edition, Tara Dennis for Banking on Our Future, Hope Jay for 5MK, Shasta Moore for Special Projects, Nell Patterson for HOPE Partners and HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant.

The HOPE offices are fully functional and located at Peachtree Tower, 191 Peachtree Street, Suite 4000 Atlanta, GA 30303 and can be reached at (404) 941-2919.

Since its founding in 1992, Operation HOPE's mission has been to promote "silver rights" and make free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. The social investment banking nonprofit has provided financial literacy and economic empowerment services to more than 1.2 million people, raised more than $500 million and helped to restructure more than $360 million in sub-prime mortgages from the private sector, for a total of approximately $900 million in economic activity for the disenfranchised.

Follow Operation HOPE at www.operationhope.org, www.twitter.com/operationhope, and www.facebook.com/operationhope.

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