ATLANTA – March 24, 2018 – John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE, Inc. will this evening deliver the keynote address at an event honoring Memphis’ 1968 striking sanitation workers as well as current workers for their impact on the civil rights movement in their city and around the world. The workers went on strike in February 1968 over unfair pay and hazardous working conditions. Approximately 1,400 sanitation workers from 1968 will attend the event.

“I am honored to participate in the recognition of these courageous workers who stood up for change in 1968, and all those who stood alongside them in this city and in every community across the nation and world,” Bryant said.

Civil rights icon and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker will also join Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland for the tribute. The private event, entitled, I AM A MAN Honors Ceremony, is part of MLK50 observances scheduled in Memphis and around the nation leading up to the commemoration of the 50thanniversary of Dr. King’s assassination on April 4.

In the midst of working on the Poor People’s Campaign, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. traveled to Memphis to support the strike. This was the reason for Dr. King’s presence in Memphis when he was assassinated.

“The mission of Operation HOPE connects the legacy of the Freedman’s Bank, established by President Abraham Lincoln more than 150 years ago to integrate all Americans into our nation’s economic life, and the second part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s integration dream—the integration of the dollar, under the banner of “silver rights”—rights to financial literacy, access to capital, and equity of opportunity, for all,” Bryant said.

Link to Press Release


About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low- and moderate-income families across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 2.8 million individuals and directed more than $2.7 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its third consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

About John Hope Bryant

Named 2016 Innovator of the Year” by American Banker magazine, John Hope Bryant is an American entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and prominent thought leader on economic empowerment and financial dignity.  He is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc. the largest not- for-profit and best-in-class provider of financial literacy, financial inclusion and economic empowerment tools and services in the United States for youth and adults; chairman and chief executive officer of Bryant Group Ventures and The Promise Homes Company, the largest for-profit minority-controlled owners of institutional-quality, single-family residential rental homes in the U.S., and co-founder of Global Dignity. Bryant is the author of bestsellers, “How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class”, and “LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World”. His latest book, “The Memo: Five Rules for Your Economic Liberation,” ws released in September 2017.




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