In the very same room that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held his final SCLC Conference and announced his Poor People’s Campaign, we were honored to build upon that legacy at the 2019 HOPE Global Forums | Annual Meeting. On May 29-31, we convened some of the most prominent thought leaders in the world to outline a vision for a new global economy that works for everyone. The month of May is a time for reflection at Operation HOPE, as we were founded May 5, 1992 in Los Angeles following the Rodney King riots. As we progress in our 27th year, it is important to us to share with you highlights from the meeting.
With nearly 5,000 leaders registered from 60+ countries, we continue to be the largest gathering in the world focused on the empowerment of the poor. Engaging around our theme “Pathways to Prosperity: Building an Inclusive Economy”, the Meeting hosted over 400 speakers and facilitators who contributed to 36 hours of programming. Andrew Ross Sorkin hosted CNBC’s Squawk Box live on-site and the event was live-streamed on MSNBC. The event also generated over $4 million in economic activity for the City of Atlanta. Be sure to save the 2020 Annual Meeting dates of May 27-29 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
HOPE Global Forums Board Chair Philippe Bourguignon, Co-Chair Ambassador Andrew Young, and Honorary Co-Chairs MSNBC President Phil Griffin and Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic joined me in welcoming a host of leaders from the public and private sector including, but not limited to:
- Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and CEO, Twitter and Square
- Deepak Chopra, Co-Founder, The Chopra Institute
- Tom Brokaw, Special Correspondent, NBC News
- Andrew Ross Sorkin, Host, Squawk Box
- Stephanie Ruhle, anchor, MSNBC Live
- Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines CEO
- David Abney, UPS Chairman and CEO
- Kelly King, BB&T Chairman and CEO
- Thasunda Duckett, JPMorgan Chase, CEO, Consumer Bank
- Jed York, Owner and CEO, San Francisco 49ers
- J.D. Vance, author, Hillbilly Elegyand Managing Partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
- Janice Bryant Howroyd, ACT-1 Founder and CEO
- Craig Vosburg, Mastercard President, North America
- U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Justin Muzinich
- FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams
- U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting
- Ambassador Paul Wolfowitz, former President, World Bank
- U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza
- Tony Ressler, Co-Founder, Ares Management and Apollo Capital, Owner, Atlanta Hawks
- T.I., performer and entrepreneur
- Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO, The King Center
- Ja’Ron Smith, Special Assistant to the President & Director Urban Affairs, Executive Office of the President
- Robert Crandall, former Chairman and CEO, American Airlines
- Michelle Nunn, CARE USA CEO
- Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International CEO
- Kat Cole, Focus Brands President and COO
- Jon Campbell, Wells Fargo EVP, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations
- Josh Tyrangiel, HBO and VICE Media Executive Vice President
Most importantly, the event was bipartisan, with leaders from both parties joining billionaires, alongside millionaires, collaborating with thousand-aires, and engaging with youth and adult HOPE clients. Thanks to the generosity of Huntington Bank, eight (8) young entrepreneurs were awarded additional funding to support their businesses that were launched through HOPE Business In A Box Academies. SunTrust Bank supported a business incubator for three (3) HOPE adult entrepreneurs selected from across the country. Each graduate received feedback on their pitch from SunTrust executives and an award to help grow and expand their business.
The Annual Meeting also provided an opportunity to share our progress towards building an economy that works for everyone. We were pleased to launch “HOPE in Action Commitments”, a vehicle where one person, combined with the actions of others can, in fact, change the world. It is a platform where aspiring change agents can pledge commitments to do “good”. We challenged attendees at the Annual Meeting to make a commitment of their own, and were excited to showcase a number of commitments on-stage:
- Inspired by Operation HOPE’s efforts to rename the Treasury Annex the Freedman’s Bank Building, in recognition of its original role teaching freed slaves about free enterprise, Deputy U.S. Secretary Justin Muzinich announced the creation of an annual Freedman’s Bank Forum to be hosted by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.
- San Francisco 49ers Owner and CEO Jed York announced the launch of a HOPE Inside for the community of Santa Clara.
- AT&T C-Suite leader, Venessa Harrison, announced a commitment to bring HOPE Inside the Workplace to its employees.
- Mutual of Omaha Bank CEO Jeff Schmid announced that the bank will be opening another HOPE Inside location in Phoenix, Arizona.
- City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced the city would be opening a HOPE Inside for its municipal employees.
- BankWork$, a national organization that creates opportunities for young adults from low-income communities to build meaningful careers in banking, announced a partnership with Operation HOPE to pilot BankWork$ in Baltimore.
- Dr. Artika Tyner, founding director of the Center on Race, Leadership and Social Justice at the School of Law at the University of St. Thomas, pledged to host an annual Justice in Action convening for law students, lawyers, and community members in order to address questions around racial disparities.
As a leader within your own community, we are certain you can play a role in what is already shaping up to be another landmark year for Operation HOPE. You can support our efforts as part of the Silver Rights movement by joining as an Operation HOPE member (individual and/or corporate) or by making a HOPE in Action Commitment of your own here: www.hopecommitments.org. Please contact Operation HOPE President Anita Ward at (404) 941-2919 to learn more about membership and partnership opportunities.