With great excitement I announce our new global partnership with MasterCard Worldwide, and that this exciting initiative is not “business as usual,” for either MasterCard or Operation HOPE. I know that my friend Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard, is passionate about this alliance and it’s potential, and we are also honored to have my friend Shawn Miles, group head for global public policy & regulatory strategy for MasterCard, who with this alliance joins our HOPE North East Board of Directors. The most exciting part of this partnership for me is the Global Framework component, with respect to the electronic payments industry. This agreement in many ways models, for the electronic payments sector, the groundbreaking work that HOPE has done with the mainstream banking and financial services sector in the U.S. with and through the FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE. That alliance led to the announcement of the new HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Center at Ebenezer, Dr. King’s church in Atlanta, Ga.

Operation HOPE Announces Partnership with MasterCard Worldwide to
Support Economic Empowerment and Financial Literacy

Partnership includes construction of flagship HOPE Center and
support for youth financial literacy campaign

Los Angeles – January 31, 2011 – Operation HOPE announced a five-year partnership with MasterCard Worldwide to support the nonprofit’s overall mission to promote financial literacy and economic empowerment to individuals across the nation and worldwide.

“I believe there is much more that the payments industry can do to help educate consumers on the use of electronic payments and which solutions are best suited to help them achieve financial independence and realize their potential,” said John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, Inc. “For example, I remember as a young man trying to become an entrepreneur how a few well managed credit cards also helped me launch, bridge and grow many of my initial business ideas when traditional forms of capital were simply unavailable to me.”

As part of this strategic partnership HOPE and MasterCard have signed the Financial Literacy and Empowerment Leadership Framework Agreement which supports multiple initiatives to help to ensure that individuals have access to opportunities to achieve financial independence and realize their potential The initiatives include :

* National and Global Financial Literacy Programs
* Consumer Protection and Education
* Volunteerism
* Adult Financial Literacy and Economic Empowerment Education
* College and University Financial Literacy Programs
* Expansion of Web-Based Digital Support for Consumers

“MasterCard has a long standing commitment to financial inclusion through support of educational and skill-building initiatives that aim to empower individuals to access a better life,” said Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer, MasterCard Worldwide. “We are proud to partner with Operation HOPE to contribute to the economic growth of communities and increase opportunities and life outcomes for individuals.”

In addition, MasterCard will support the construction and operation of the flagship HOPE Center, housed at the Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Center in Atlanta, GA and the FIVE MILLION KIDS Initiative (5MK) Make Smart Sexy Tour. 5MK’s mission is to connect financial literacy to the aspirations of youth by teaching them to use education and the “language of money” as tools to help them realize a self-fulfilling and successful life. The tour will involve partnering with private and public sector leaders to bring financial education to high schools across the nation.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.
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.

– Posted by John Hope Bryant

John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc., author of bestselling business book LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability

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