I am here in Memphis, Tennessee for the opening of our HOPE Inside Memphis location sponsored by SunTrust Bank, and I am so happy and pleased about that. But at the same time, I must say, my spirit is also sad.

I was saddened, the moment I stepped off of the plane at the Memphis airport. Saddened, because this is where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped off the plane in April, 1968, coming from the same departure city (Atlanta), but Dr. King never left Memphis. He never, got back on another airplane. God willing, tomorrow morning me and my team will depart Memphis, and then come back again, and again. But everything I come into this city, I remember what Dr. King gave his life for. And why — and this makes me want to work even harder, for the healing. For the transformation.

Our launch of HOPE Inside Memphis, first (today) in a SunTrust Bank branch, and later this year, in First Tennessee Bank branches. Ultimately, I want to see 20 HOPE Inside locations throughout greater Memphis. I want to help life our people, from a mission and movement of of civil rights, into a proactive agenda of silver rights empowerment too.

Stay tuned. There’s still a lot of work to do. This is one plane ticket (Dr. King’s), that can never be covered or reimbursed. It just has to be made, worthwhile.

Blessings Memphis, Tennessee.

Let’s go.

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 bestselling book is HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM(Berrett Koehler Publishing). Bryant is a Member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, and co-chair for Project 5117, which is a plan for the rebirth of underserved America.

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