I was honored to give the closing keynote speech for the three day annual conference of and for the California Black Chamber of Commerce today here in Sacramento, California, and afterwards to accept a leadership award from my lifelong friend and community service mentor Mr. Aubry Stone, CEO of the chamber. Aubry is a legend in California black business circles and has been there with me for as long as I can remember.
I spoke today on the power of black business and entrepreneurship to save our community, in what I described as this next round of the civil rights movement, or silver rights empowerment for all. I spoke of the power of financial dignity, and financial literacy as the new civil rights tool to empower our people. I spoke of the critical role that black business owners can, and indeed must play in this next edition of our work for our people.
I spoke about what each and every person can DO to move our people forward, right in their local community, as we move to operationalize HOPE Business-In-A-Box on the ground and in communities and schools across this nation in 2012, and beyond.
Finally, I commended leaders present in the room, inclusive of Chamber board chair Dr. Robert Gaines, Sr, 100 Black Men of Sacramento president Daniel J. Bryant (who brought his 12 year old daughter, a budding entrepreneur), and my new friend Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Also David B. DeLuz, the president of the Urban League of Sacramento was present, who is doing good and noble work in the community. I was particularly pleased to learn that he and our HOPE, Bay Area leader Tyrone Cosey (also present), are beginning to work closely together.
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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.