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John Hope Bryant
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John Hope Bryant is a philanthropic entrepreneur and leader in the business of empowerment. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE, America's first nonprofit social investment banking organization. He is the vice chair of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and chairman of the Under-Served Committee for the U.S. President's Council. An internationally respected public speaker, Bryant is a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum and has received many awards for his work to empower low-wealth
communities. He is the other of the new book, LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass, Sept 2009).

Entries by John Hope Bryant

The Second Victim of Ferguson: The Death of Business and Jobs

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 12:14 AM

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Ferguson, Missouri is dying, but quite possibly not for the reasons you might believe.

Before I speak to the second death in Ferguson, let me acknowledge the first.

Michael Brown and the criminal justice system, both lost in Ferguson, Missouri.

There will be...

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Black and Brown America -- Here Comes the Memo

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 3:52 PM

It's time for black and brown America to get their copy of what I call The Memo.

It's so straight forward, you can decide to ignore this article altogether, and simply watch this 4-minute video.

After signing the Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation creating the Freedman's Saving and Trust Co., commonly known as the Freedman's Bank.

Lincoln considered the bank's mission so important to the nation that he located the bank directly across from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where the president could keep an eye on it.

The bank's mission was radical: To teach newly freed blacks about money.

Additionally, during the final period of the Civil War, one of Lincoln's top generals promised all freed slaves 40 acres and a mule, an opportunity to own collateral and machinery in their own names. Lincoln supported the initiative.

Unfortunately, Lincoln was assassinated. His successor, President Andrew Johnson, was diametrically opposed to things like the Freedman's Savings Bank. "As long as I am president, this nation will be white-run," Johnson was quoted as saying. So much for Lincoln's black empowerment ideas.

My personal hero Ambassador Andrew Young had it right when he said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement succeeded in integrating cities and America, but failed to integrate the money.

In fairness, you can't really "integrate" money. But we can deliver The Memo, to show a new generation how to access it, own it, grow it and keep it.

It's time to finish what Lincoln started and Dr. King never had the opportunity to meaningfully address.

That's why I wrote the book, How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class. The Solution for the 100%.

Most people are focused on and talking about the problem. How it happened, why it happened. All of that is important, but this book is 100 percent focused on real and practical solutions to our problems. Solutions that actually solve.

Operation HOPE will become the nation's private banker to the working poor, the struggling class and the teetering middle class. We call it the HOPE Plan and Project 5117.

Watch the movie, and share your thoughts on how together, we rebuild the path to the middle class.

Let's go.

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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 book is HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM, and will be published by 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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Continuing the Poverty Eradication Work of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., Introducing Project 5117

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 10:37 AM

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s civil rights movement was not limited to "saving Black Americans," nor was it limited to halting Black oppression of the 20th century. The civil rights movement as seen through Dr. King's eyes, was about "redeeming the soul of America from the triple evils...

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Open-Source Capitalism and the HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit

(2) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 6:09 PM

The real vision, mission and purpose for the 2nd annual HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit was actually quite simple -- to break the traditional cycle of poverty through empowerment; expanding, deepening and broadening the true level of opportunity for all. Simultaneously, the goal was to show senior corporate,...

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Redefining Success. Putting Money Back In Its Place.

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 10:22 AM

For 100 years the world has been on a fairly consistent march towards more and more free enterprise, and deeper and more sharp edged caverns of capitalism. And for approximately 80 of those years, most of the developed world was not on a bad path.

People (entrepreneurs) created things...

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Thugged Out, But Not Dumb

(4) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 11:52 PM

During the many Banking on Our Future financial literacy tours I do, year in and year out in urban, inner-city public middle schools and public high-schools across the nation (where Operation HOPE is active), I often run into young men who think they have the world...

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America as Chief Global Opportunity Officer, Not Chief Global Police Officer

(3) Comments | Posted September 22, 2013 | 5:55 PM

As we observe all the continuing chaos happening around the world, and the call for military action in places like Syria, many Americans are understandably asking what the real role for America should be in the world today. People are particularly sensitive, even cynical (understandably so), in backdrop of the...

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The 50th Anniversary of 'I Have A Dream' Is Not All Celebration

(1) Comments | Posted September 8, 2013 | 6:51 PM

All of the 50th anniversary acknowledgment and celebration is incredibly important to do, and was done in a way fitting for the moment and the man (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), and no doubt inspiring too, but we are potentially missing one powerful message that I believe would actually distress...

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When Being Normal Is the New Sexy (For a Generation)

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 5:55 PM

I am so tired of folks passing off abnormal and absolutely crazy behavior, as some strange, weirded-out strand of 'normal' in today's society.

Trading wives shows, baby's mamma shows, mistress shows, teenage mamma shows, teenage grandmama shows, and the most ignorant hip-hop variant of 'show-your-most-ignorant-self' themed shows. What's next, a...

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Detroit's Future Rise Is Rooted in Its Rich Past

(4) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 5:31 PM

Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, wrote in his book The Coming Jobs War, on the premise of why the economy stalled "There are two reasons for this. One, business leaders aren't in a 'growth' state of mind. ... They have lost their will to 'dream it, build it,'...

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Defining Financial Literacy in a New Economic Age

(3) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 3:25 PM

Financial literacy has evolved over time, and thankfully, the broader space still is. That said, as I begin to outline the fundamental building block pieces surrounding this critically important space, it is also helpful to appreciate the insightful quote from the LinkedIn founder, who said, "If you are not slightly...

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What Egypt Needs Now: Jobs

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 2:27 PM

Egypt is going through an extremely painful re-birthing process, and almost everywhere you turn the pundits talk of the political, social and religious challenges the nation and her people face. Respectfully, I have a different view of both the original crisis that removed Mubarak from power, as well as the...

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Reflecting on the Trayvon Martins of Our World and Our Responsibility to Them

(1) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 2:28 PM

Today I received comments suggesting (asking) that I appear on the morning talk shows, all of which appear to be focused on the Trayvon Martin tragedy, and the associated Zimmerman trial.

It dawned on me that I had not said much about this crisis, publicly, and that maybe I should....

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The 21st Century Definition of Freedom: Self-Determination for All

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 1:08 PM

In the 21st century, the definition of freedom was tied to what was going on in the wider world. And what was going on in the wider free world involved a handful of defining movements towards emerging democracies around the world -- from leaders like Nelson Mandela in places like...

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1,000 Branch Banks to Serve the Poor (You and Me, Too)

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 10:46 AM

If you are middle class today there is a good chance that you actually 'feel' poor in this economy -- meaning 'there is too much month at the end of your money.' Seventy percent of all Americans are struggling to make ends meet, living from paycheck to paycheck. But there...

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Obama Speaks as Father-In-Chief at Morehouse College Commencement

(8) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 6:20 PM

By John Hope Bryant, chairman, Operation HOPE, and Ambassador Andrew J. Young, chairman, Andrew J. Young Foundation


It's hard to evaluate the impact of a commencement speech.

George Marshall (1944) announced the Marshall Plan at Harvard University and changed the world in 20 minutes.

Tom Mboya,...

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Solving Poverty: The New Philanthropy is a Job

(2) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 5:19 PM

The thing I am most proud of in my professional career is that I meet a payroll every two weeks, and have been doing this successfully for more than 20 years now through Operation HOPE alone. In 20 years, I have never bounced a payroll check, and never had an...

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Solving Poverty: Fighting Blight and Poverty with Credit Scores

(4) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 11:27 AM

In the 50 years since the civil rights movement and Dr. King's dream, one problem (racism) has been replaced or at least matched by another -- poverty. Urban poverty, rural poverty, and poverty that hits blacks, whites, browns and others alike. As I have said previously in the Huffington Post,...

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Solving Poverty: A Business Plan Called 'Hard Work'

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 1:23 PM

Real success does not have to be complicated when a commitment to work is present.

This week I met Mr. Eric McLean, a mobile notary public here in Atlanta, Ga. who came by my office to have me sign some documents. As we signed documents I asked a fairly simply...

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On Leadership: Sunburned Black Folks

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 2:17 AM

This just makes me smile, because it completely neutralizes the backwards theory of and around this crazy thing called race and racism.

While in the Bahamas for an event recently, I noticed that I was actually sunburned. Let me note here, that I am proudly African American. My deepest...

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