JHB at CBC 2009 

Dear Leaders and Friends:

This week I published an “intentionally provocative” article entitled The God Crisis in The Huffington Post.  It worked, as relates to being provocative, but I was surprised that it mostly provoked those with, it appears, “no belief system at all.” Leaving aside issues of faith and belief, in essence I state that the current global economic crisis we are experiencing is, at its core, a crisis of virtues and values; and in order for all of us to achieve recovery we must, as a nation, and as a global community, return to the basic principles and values that connect us.  My goal from the article (copy of which is enclosed) was not to get anyone to “think like me,” but to encourage individuals to think for themselves.  As I have said in my bestselling business book LOVE LEADERSHIP (Inc. Magazine/CEO Reads List, published by Jossey-Bass), “in a world where most ask what do I get,” we must increasingly ask “what do we have to give?” In a world where most people have become specialist in what they are against, we must decide what we are for.

Five years ago, and maybe more recently than that, particularly in America, if you started a conversation around the water cooler about the need for higher ethical standards and living a life with purpose, you would most likely be greeted by blank expressions, questioning the relevance of your position.  Since the primary objective had become making money, it did not really matter how you got it, so long as you got it.

Operation HOPE, in addition to its focus on financial education and empowerment, is dedicated to restoring in the youth of today the core values and sense of hope for the future that is necessary for their success and necessary for the recovery of our nation, and the world.  In partnership with Gallup, Operation HOPE will be publishing an annual Gallup/HOPE Financial Literacy Index which seeks to measure hope, well being, engagement, and financial literacy (for youth).  This work will be the primary focus of the Operation HOPE Office of Innovation, Research and Assessment as directed by Meredith Walker, former economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Dallas (see enclosed press release). We are also pleased to name Ms. Walker, as director of this new vital office, as the official economist for Operation HOPE. A special thanks to Landon Taylor and Meredith Walker for leading the Gallup-HOPE Index initiative to date.

In addition to this exciting development, here is a short snapshot of other Operation HOPE news for May, 2010:

  • Furthering HOPE’s commitment to the (Clinton Global Initiative) CGI Initiative’s focus around Haiti, a HOPE exploration team visited Haiti to evaluate next steps for securing our presence on-the-ground. The delegation met with key leaders to cultivate relationships and garner additional support.  


  • Held the inaugural meeting of the Gallup-HOPE Financial Literacy Index Advisory Board in Washington, DC including participation from the US Treasury Department, US Department of Education, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, America's Promise, US Bank (mention one or two of the prominent foundations) and others


  • Global Dignity Founders led a group of Young Global Leaders and World Economic Forum members in a series of Global Dignity class sessions with children at the FEZA School just outside Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, on May 6th, 2010. The co-founders of Global Dignity, HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Professor Pekka Himanen, Finland, and I were also honored to be joined by the former Tanzanian President and the Turkish Ambassador to Tanzania. Afterwards the delegation visited the WAMA Foundation, a local orphanage created by the First Lady of Tanzania, Salma Kikwete.


  • HOPE partnered with Citibank, as part of their commitment to community, to host 100 kids at a Chicago Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field. Before the game, the kids will received a class on financial education, highlighted by a visit and motivational talk by Cubs chairman and owner Tom Ricketts.
  • HOPE foreclosure prevention counselors provided counseling during a three-day Wells Fargo/Wachovia sponsored event in Miami that drew more than 10,000 customers interested in loan modifications.
  • HOPE, in partnership with the Premiere Radio Networks, launched four new PSA’s focused on financial empowerment services. Joining me in the spots are HOPE Global Spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young, and the newest senior advisor to the HOPE family, President and CEO of the King Center and founder of Realizing the Dream, Martin Luther King III.  Next up will be a television broadcast campaign made possible by global advertising agency BBDO (New York) and NAB (National Association of Broadcasters).


I hope you find value in these monthly updates on the work of Operation HOPE.  I thank you for joining me on this journey to improve the lives of the underserved and the un-empowered, and to help create sustainable change for all going forward. 


Log onto www.operationhope.org to find out more about our global work.


Onward and with HOPE



John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, author of Inc. Magazine-CEO Read bestseller LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World



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