As many already know, I made it my mission in 2015 to inspire the renaming of the U.S. Treasury Annex Building, which sat across the street from both the U.S. Treasury Department and The White House, to the Freedman’s Bank Building. This was the original location of the Freedman’s Bank, as chartered into existence by then President Abraham Lincoln, as part of the Freedman’s Bureau, created on March 3rd, 1865, to ‘teach freed slaves about money.’
This of course, is today the work of the organization I founded following the Rodney King Riots of 1992, Operation HOPE.
This is what I was referring to, the ‘Memo’ we never got, in my bestselling book “How The Poor Can Save Capitalism,” and it is what I mean by the new Silver Rights Movement.
On January 7th, 2016, after a little under a year of ‘advocating for a federal building name change,’ I was honored to stand with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew as he formally announced the name change from the U.S. Treasury Annex Building, to the Freedman’s Bank Building. And today I am pleased to share further refinements to the interior of the newly renamed building, in its lobby — which formally gives ‘historic credit and perspective’ around the Freedman’s Bank, and the work ethic and integrity of the former slaves who made it so, with deposits than would equate to upwards of $100 Billion today.
Finally, I am genuinely honored that the federal government, under Secretary Jack Lew’s leadership, has decided to properly adorn the lobby of this prominent federal building with background and historic documents dating back to the origins of the Freedman’s Bank.
The special award for leadership that Operation HOPE presented to Treasury Secretary Lew, in thanks and appreciation for his commitment to rename the Freedman’s Bank Building, is a centerpiece in this federal entry display. The award was given to Secretary Lew at the HOPE Global Forum Annual Meeting on January 12-14, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia.
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John Hope Bryant