Today I am honored to travel with two civil rights icons, Presidential Medal of Freedom award recipients and friends, Ambassador Andrew Young and Reverend C.T. Vivian, to Washington, D.C. for media interviews and the formal ceremony surrounding the renaming of the Freedman’s Bank Building, across from the White House.

Ambassador Andrew Young and John Hope Bryant Backstage in Atlanta

Ambassador Andrew Young and John Hope Bryant Backstage in Atlanta

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln created a bank to ‘teach freed slaves about money.’  It was called the Freedman’s Bank, and was later run by noted abolitionist (and businessman) Frederick Douglass.  The headquarters of the bank, which had upwards of 30 plus branches nationwide, was located directly across the street from both the White House and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

At its height, the bank held deposits for more than 73,000 former slaves and held assets that would make it one of the top 50 banks today, in the nation.JHB and Rev Vivian

On the meeting tomorrow, at Treasury, Reverend Vivian reminded me that this is one of the first ever times he can remember that civil rights and other leaders from underserved communities met on policy with the U.S. Treasury Secretary.

You can find Ambassador Young’s statement on the renaming here, and Rev. Vivian’s statement also, here.

I wrote in some length on the historic nature of all of this on LinkedIn Influencers here, this week.

All of this is in preparation for, and leading up to the HOPE Global Forum,  2016 Annual Meeting for Operation HOPE, January 13-15th, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia, co-hosted with Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta, where Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will give an important keynote policy speech on financial and economic inclusion for all.

Feel free to share broadly with your network of leaders and concerns individuals and groups.

Strategy sessions would sometimes last for hours. C.T. Vivian (on the right), became a close ally of Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy and James Bevel (on the floor with the hat).

Strategy sessions would sometimes last for hours. C.T. Vivian (on the right), became a close ally of Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy and James Bevel (on the floor with the hat).

 

Dr. Martin King, Jr., Andrew Young and others in a strategy meeting on the movement.

Dr. Martin King, Jr., Andrew Young and others in a strategy meeting on the movement.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Andrew Young, Abernathy, others arrive in Memphis, Tenn. for the Poor People's Campaign

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Andrew Young, Abernathy, others arrive in Memphis, Tenn. for the Poor People’s Campaign

Let’s go…

John Hope Bryant

 

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