Today Operation HOPE issues a formal statement of support to and for President Barack Obama and his initiative to empower boys and young men of color, called MY BROTHER'S KEEPER.

Of course, these are issues that are all near and very dear to my heart as the founder of Operation HOPE. Things we have been working to combat for more than 20 years now, since our founding after the Rodney King Riots of 1992 in South Los Angeles.  Of course, the core of that crisis as well centered around the brewing frustrations of young men of color too.

It is one thing for an organization like Operation HOPE to place its shoulder against the wheel and to try to help, but it is another thing altogether when the power and influence of the U.S. Presidency weighs in.  When the President himself makes this a national priority.  And that is precisely what has happened here, with President Barack Obama signaling his strong support for this new national policy priority — saving our boys and young men of color.

I will not take time here to list the countless, debilitating statistics that chronicle the status of our youth today, as the White House entry has already done this well.  I will simply say that it is time for America, and Americans, to get to work here — helping the President and our nation to 'lift' our most vulnerable.

These young people, are literally our future workers, customers, servant leaders, hoped-for future taxpayers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and job creators. These young people are not optional to our future.  They are — our future.

Commendations to the President and his team. Let's support him.  We will do just that here at Operation HOPE, through our own Project 5117, which continues the unfinished poverty eradication work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and is the only 2010-2012 bestselling business author in America who is also African-American. His newest book, due out May, 2014, is HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM, and will be published byBerrett Koehler Publishing).

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