On the day that the nation officially recognizes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, I thought it was best to honor his memory with new work and new commitments for the underserved — centered right here in his home town.

In 2009, working closely with Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Church, the home church of Dr. King and Daddy King, Operation HOPE announced our plans to open HOPE Inside @ Ebenezer.

This week, at the HOPE Global Forum 2016 we announced a series of innovations, including a new theme for the organization I founded going forward, as well as the theme for our 2017 Annual Meeting. It is:  Operation HOPE. Building an Economy for All.

Here are our deliverables, announced today in honor of Dr. King:

  1. A new theme for a new time. Operation HOPE: Building an Economy for All.
  2. The HOPE Global Forum, 2017 Annual Meeting of Operation HOPE will be held March, 2017.  The meeting will be scheduled in line with the anniversary of the Freedman’s Bank, chartered on March 3rd, 1865, by President Abraham Lincoln to ‘teach freed slaves about money.’
  3. HOPE played an instrumental role in the renaming of the Freedman’s Bank Building on the 18 acre White House campus in Washington, D.C.
  4. We announced that Operation HOPE would be moving the Operation HOPE Global Headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia in 2016.  The Los Angeles office will remain in an Administrative and Operational support function for the global office.
  5. Finally, Operation HOPE announced Atlanta Uplift 2020 at the 2016 Annual Meeting of HOPE Global Forum, focused on creating change right here in our home city.  Also, the home city of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Atlanta Uplift 2020 is a powerful new initiative, focused on sustainable, transformational, community change at scale.

In 2009, Operation HOPE opened its flagship HOPE Inside location at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic Ebenezer Church, in honor of his father Martin King, Sr., who served on the board of a bank for more than 40 years.

In 2016, Operation HOPE will announce plans to move the HOPE Global Headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2015, Operation HOPE secured partnership commitments for close to 300 new locations tied to Project 5117; from HOPE Inside locations in banks, hotels, and hospitals to HOPE Business In A Box Academies and HOPE B- Business Compact internship sites in our public schools.

Between 2016 and 2020, Operation HOPE (HOPE) will execute on its vision of deploying Project 5117 program portfolio locations nationwide, beginning in our new home city of Atlanta, Georgia.  The organizing prism for our intense and focused work in Atlanta, going forward, will be Atlanta Uplift 2020.

Atlanta Uplift 2020 will:

  • Deploy 25 HOPE Inside locations citywide, on a sustainable basis.
  • Deploy 25 HOPE Business In A Box Academies, on a sustainable basis.
  • Deploy 25 HOPE B- Business Compact school sites, on a sustainable basis.
  • Deploy 25 HOPE Banking on Our Future ‘signature’ schools, on a sustainable basis.

Current signature commitments leaning forward into the execution of the Atlanta Uplift 2020 mission statement include:

  • Existing: HOPE Inside @Ebenezer, Flagship location system-wide, in Atlanta.
  • Existing: HOPE Inside @SunTrust Bank locations in Atlanta.
  • Existing: Banking on Our Future schools and HOPE Business In A Box Academies.
  • New: The Coca-Cola Company, the Coca-Cola Foundation and several Coca-Cola Bottlers have made a $1M commitment to launch HOPE Business In A Box Academies for Girls, and HOPE Inside locations for Women, in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast.
  • New: Equifax committed resources to be focused on Vine City community in 2016.
  • New: HOPE Inside @Atlanta Police Department Headquarters, sponsored by SunTrust Banks and the U.S. Economic Development Administration. This is a partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation.
  • New: HOPE Inside @ BB&T Bank.
  • New: City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative signs citywide MOU with HOPE to promote ‘a ladder of entrepreneurship opportunity’ for women.
  • New: The US Park Service committed federal resources to support K-12 student tours of our historic HOPE Inside @Ebenezer location, including the King Center campus (connecting to further anchoring the HOPE Inside @Ebenezer as flagship).

To measure and support the success of Atlanta Uplift 2020, the HOPE Office of Innovation, Research & Assessment will report results quarterly, and through our national, 100-year partnership with the GALLUP Organization, the Gallup-HOPE Index will issue an annual report on the behavioral economic ‘trend lines” of youth economic energy in Atlanta.

Ambassador Andrew Young and John Hope Bryant Backstage in Atlanta

Ambassador Andrew Young and John Hope Bryant Backstage in Atlanta

Let’s go…

John Hope Bryant, Founder

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