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During his lifetime, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made it his mission to provide jobs for the unemployed, improve housing opportunity for low-income Americans with the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and to combat economic inequality in all forms. Today in the United States we still face many of the same job, housing, and broader economic challenges that King faced in 1967. According to The Pew Research Center’s recent report, the percentage of the population in poverty today is almost exactly the same as the percentage of people in poverty 40 years ago. This is not something that is only true for one racial group, but something that was found to be true for all racial groups that were surveyed by the census during that time period. Poverty and the lack of upward economic mobility is still an issue that we as a nation face today, and one that we hope to significantly address with Project 5117, and by year 2020.

HOPE began its silver rights empowerment work in 1992 with the founding of Operation HOPE, in South Los Angeles. In 2008, the work of HOPE directly inspired then President George W. Bush to sign a first ever Executive Order establishing financial literacy as U.S. federal policy, therein creating the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. In 2012, President Barack Obama adopted a policy recommendation by the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability, Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment, incorporating FEMA and the new space of emergency financial disaster preparedness, response and recovery, into financial capability policy. Operation HOPE’s founder and CEO, John Hope Bryant chaired this subcommittee and the policy recommendation was also indirectly inspired by the on-the-ground work of Operation HOPE.

We're taking the step from Civil Rights to Silver Rights and providing financial and economic empowerment tools and services to those who need it most.