I created Operation HOPE in 1992, immediately following the Rodney King Riots of 1992, to change the world.
23 years later, Operation HOPE is now a global organization which has served more than 2 million people, has directed more than $2 billion of private and public capital into urban, inner city and under served communities, with more than 23,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and 4,000 plus public schools engaged around our mission and movement.
I believe that civil rights was waged and won in the streets, and silver rights will be waged and won in the suites. I believe that while racism discrimination no doubt remains an ever present issue in society, and many are fighting to address it, that my mission is the next battleground — financial access and economic empowerment (and ownership) for all. Or as we say at Operation HOPE, “if you deal with class, you get race for free.”
Today, our mission is focused on making free enterprise work for all. We are focused on finishing what President Abraham Lincoln had in mind when we created the Freedman’s Bank, and what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his life for with the Poor People’s Campaign. That means creating the first ever national private banker for the working poor, the underserved and the teetering middle class. Individuals with ‘too much month at the end of their money.’ We will achieve this through what we call Project 5117.
I believe that Operation HOPE can be a calatyst for change, both here and around the world. For all races.
Let’s go. This is my vision.
John Hope Bryant