Last week I had the pleasure of speaking as part of the HOPE Leadership Speaker Series at the Oakland HOPE Center. Here I am pictured with Tyron Cosey, the leader for the Oakland HOPE Center, formerly an executive with First American Corporation.
It was standing room only for the evening and I was honored and warmed the extremely warm welcome I received from the Oakland community. Oakland is one of my favorite cities in America, because of the heart, passion and spirit of its people. Following the session a majority of attendees actually signed up for a program initiative, or to become a HOPE Corps volunteer, or to be a part of our newest initiative, 5MK (more on this later).
Oakland HOPE Center is our Northern California anchor for our national HOPE Banking Center Network (HBCN), led nationally by our own Lance Triggs, and is the baseline for the launch of our "silver rights" movement throughout the greater Bay Area. During my meeting with my friend and fellow YGL, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, City Treasurer Jose Cisneros mentioned that his office had heard good things about the Oakland HOPE Center and was beginning to collaborate with them with respect to financial literacy. the Oakland HOPE Center team is also working with the Bank on California initiative, which seeks to decrease the unbanked population in California.
A special thank you to Bank of the West for lead sponsoring this beautiful location. In particular I want to thank my board member and friend Don McGrath, chairman of the bank, as well as Michael Sheppard, president and CEO of Bank of the West. AT&T, as led by HOPE board member Lora Watts, also helped us to launch the HOPE Inner City Cyber Cafe for that location.
Onward with HOPE,
John Hope Bryant