Led by my Atlanta team, James Bailey and Tara Dennis at Operation HOPE, while HOPE held Banking on Our Future financial literacy courses featuring our BB&T Bank HOPE Corps volunteers, I spoke before all assembled youth (approximately 800 total) for the 100 Black Men of Decalb County, 7th Annual Youth Summit 2012, in Decatur, Georgia. Impressed with this incredible group of young leaders in the making, I was also blown away that the beautiful center we gathered in — the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center — was built in honor of an African-American entrepreneur, as well as a member of the 100.
Porter Sanford, III went to college in Atlanta, at Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), started a barber shop as his first business, and later opened Salford Realty in 1965. Sanford Realty went on to become a major force in Decalb County, creating jobs and responsible for millions of dollars of economic activity in the greater Atlanta region. Not satisfied with running a successful business, he became engaged in community; helping to found 100 Black Men of Dekalb County and the Samuel Jones Boys Club.
A great day, which also celebrated the legacy of an inspiring entrepreneur, and the young entrepreneurs that will now follow his lead.
Onward and with HOPE
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass) the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum.