My ultimate goal for the under-construction Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Center at Ebenezer (HOPE Center Ebenezer), at the King Center complex, is for us to ultimately serve not only the needs of local low-wealth and minority communities that surround the King Center complex, but also to serve even the mostly white, rural areas of Georgia too.

To get to a point, where those in all parts of the state, recognizing the power, openness and uniqueness of the empowerment services provided, decide to come and participate in what we have to offer; with no regard to location, race or social differences. In other words, Operation HOPE, born of the worst civil unrest in U.S. history in South Central Los Angeles, serving African-Americans and minorities almost exclusively, morphed into an organization that serves almost equally black and brown (Latino) clients and communities (including the struggling middle class), and now, we seek to serve all those in need — irrespective of race.

This is step is also very appropriate, given that the core inspiration for our work comes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Daddy King, and Dr. King’s last stated movement was The Poor People’s Campaign, which was of course focused on representing and empowering everyone, and not just black America. The reality is, there are more poor whites in America, than poor anyone else.

You can get more information on and around our plans for the HOPE Center at Ebenezer here.

A special thank you to HOPE Center Ebenezer founding partners, FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE, SunTrust Bank, State Farm Insurance, LPL Financial, Wells Fargo, MasterCard, Coca-Cola, and most recently the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc., author of Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business book LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a Member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability.

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