Operation HOPE at 24: Reflecting back on our 24th organizational birthday
It is entirely fitting that I was the luncheon keynote presenter at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, 2016, for Black Enterprise Magazine, on the very day 24 years ago that Operation HOPE was born into existence.
My main obsession, both then (as a 26 year old young man on a mission to change our world) and now, was to empower urban and rural underserved communities with a powerful sense of financial and economic strength -- rooted in entrepreneurship, small business, home ownership, and 'the spiritual re-awakening of ourselves.
I was proud to stand on the stage at the Black Enterprise conference -- arguably the most respected voice for Black business and 'enterprise' in the nation -- sharing with the audience both some of our biggest wins (2B+ invested into underserved communities through our partners to date, 2M clients, 30K volunteers, the renaming of the Freedman's Bank Building on the White House campus, the launch of Project 5117 and the Silver Rights Movement for a new generation), and our current work.
This current work, on the ground, expanding weekly in underserved communities across the country, includes opening 1,000 HOPE Inside and HOPE Business In A Box Academy locations nationwide by year 2020. Stay tuned for important news and announcements of Black Enterprise and Operation HOPE collaborating and partnering more in the future.
One powerful sense of the resonance of our shared message, for this generation, is the Black Entrepreneurship video I posted on Sunday on my Facebook Mentions Page, which has approximately 200,000 views, and close to 2,000 Shares. This is the Silver Rights Movement.
A special thank you to Earl 'Butch' Graves, Jr, Derek Dingle and Stacey Tisdale for being the bridge.
John Hope Bryant