Yesterday in Montgomery, Alabama, in my capacity as the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Operation HOPE, I was honored to receive the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Leadership Award from the Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute during the observation of the 58th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  

The Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute operates in the original headquarters for the Montgomery Improvement Association, which was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was the organizational base camp for the Montgomery Bus Boycott which followed the arrest of Ms. Rosa Parks. This series of events, sparked the most critical civil rights movement in American history.

The event, focused on women's empowerment, was held at Alabama State University and the award was presented to me by civil rights leader, and SYLDI director Doris Crenshaw, along with King Center CEO, Reverend Dr. Bernice A. King. The award underscored Operation HOPE's 20 plus year commitment to financial literacy empowerment as a bridge from civil rights to silver rights for all.

During the event, Project 5117, which is now co-chaired by Ambassador Andrew Young, Reverend Dr. Bernice A. King and myself, was featured as a continuation of the poverty eradication work of Dr. King, for this generation.  During the event, my office reported receiving 15 new CGI Commitments to Project 5117 within 10 minutes of my acceptance remarks. 

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