John Hope Bryant at the Woodlawn Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama

John Hope Bryant at the Woodlawn Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama

Always, is the answer.  We should always, work to support each other.

This was the conversation that Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, and I had in his office recently. We agreed, and have been exploring ways to collaborate.  He has since spoken at HOPE events, and I am trying to find ways to show up at his (he invited me recently, but I was unable to make it).

Recently I was in Birmingham, Alabama for the annual fundraising event for the Woodlawn Foundation, which targets the revitalization of the famed Woodlawn community in Birmingham.  The foundation is run by my new friend Sally Mackin, and many of their supporters also support the work of Operation HOPE — in Birmingham. And we both agreed — so what. In fact, not only ‘so what,’ but even more reason to collaborate.

Sally Mackin of Woodlawn Foundation

Sally Mackin of Woodlawn Foundation

We didn’t see our work — and supporters — conflicting with each other.  We saw it enhancing the work, of each other. We decided, to build together.

“There is no ‘competition’ (or there should not be) amongst nonprofit organizations.  Unfortunately it is true — there is enough poverty to go around.” John Hope Bryant


John Hope Bryant at Woodlawn Foundation

John Hope Bryant at Woodlawn Foundation

I altered my schedule and donated my time recently, waiving 100% of my commercial speaking fee, to ‘show up’ for the Woodlawn Foundation in Birmingham.  I spoke on our shared mission, and signed copies of now bestselling book, “How The Poor Can Save Capitalism.” 

Furthermore, while there we announced a new commitment from the State of Alabama and the Appalachian Regional Commission, as well as Protective Life Insurance Company, to help us deepen our work not only in Alabama — but within the Woodlawn community.

Other partners helping us grow our Project 5117 portfolio in Birmingham include Regions Bank, Wells Fargo and Alabama Power. More to come…

In short, supporting the Woodlawn Foundation, or the National Urban League for that matter, is supporting the mission of Operation HOPE. Eradicating poverty as we know it — in our lifetime.

In this new silver rights movement, we literally are all in this together.

Let’s go…

John Hope Bryant




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