Thank you Ashton Kutcher.
Last week the acting superstar Ashton Kutcher did what I have been banking on celebrity star power doing for several years now — latching onto the Make Smart Sexy and Make Smart Cool (So Kids Want to Stay in School) movement we helped to inspire several years ago through Operation HOPE.
In November 2010, I pinned a piece in the Huffington Post entitled Why We Need To Make Smart Sexy Again, and just last week I penned a follow up piece, also for the Huffington Post, entitled When Being Normal Is The New Sexy (For A Generation). Both received strong positive reaction, but nothing within a planet length of the seismic shift caused by the less than 5 minutes of remarks by Mr. Kutcher during the Nickelodeon Teen Awards. Watch his full YouTube video acceptance speech here, and read a more full article (one of many) about the wonderful thing he did here.
I don't know whether Mr. Kutcher was influenced or directly inspired by our efforts with 5 MILLION KIDS, or whether he 'got there' all by himself, but it really doesn't matter. He's there, and we need so very many more leaders in entertainment to join him!
Ashton Kutcher's contribution was simple and straight forward — he made his powerful voice known by adding his endorsement squarely in the column of 'making smart cool.'
I endorse and applaud what Ashton Kutcher did here, and I thank him.
And as Operation HOPE and our partners, which include the likes of icons Quincy Jones, Ambassador Andrew Young, and Russell Simmons and others, begin our 2013-2020 5 MILLION KIDS campaign to save our kids — inspiring them and America to win again, to 'make smart cool' again, I and we welcome Ashton to join us!
Steve Jobs was right, Mr. Kutcher. Together, we can do anything. And right, so were you.
John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur, author, advisor, and one of the nation's most recognized empowerment leader. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, The 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.