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August 29 2013

Operation HOPE Marks 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

 HOPE Founder Honors Dr. King’s Dream at a panel discussion with Dr. Bernice King and Civil Rights Icon Rep. John Lewis; HOPE Global Spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young joins President Obama at the Lincoln Memorial

Washington, DC – August 29, 2013 – Operation HOPE (HOPE) joined millions of Americans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at a series of events in Washington, DC this week. 

Earlier this week, HOPE founder, chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant joined a panel at Francis-Stevens Education Campus in Washington, DC, titled "50 Years of Struggle: Youth Driving Economics, Education and Social Change." At the panel, Bryant joined notable panel participants, including Bernice King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Congressman John Lewis, civil rights icon and member of Dr. King’s inner circle of advisors. The panelists answered questions and shared oral history with students from grades 4-8 during an afternoon session. 

In addition, HOPE partnered with The King Center and the 50th Anniversary Coalition to simulate the March and Dr. King’s historic speech on Saturday, August 24. Employees from the HOPE Financial Dignity Center in Washington, DC’s Anacostia neighborhood turned out to make the walk to the National Mall.

On the actual day of the 50th anniversary, August 28, HOPE staffers joined Bryant and HOPE Global Spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young and tens of thousands of marchers to take part in the “Let Freedom Ring” Commemoration & Call to Action” on the National Mall. The program included a prayer lead by Ambassador Young and an address commemorating the occasion by President Barack Obama. The ceremony concluded with a “Let Freedom Ring” bell-ringing ceremony, with bells ringing coast to coast in honor of Dr. King’s legacy.

The 50th anniversary celebration serves as a reminder about the special link between the civil rights movements that Dr. King and his supporters helped led and the “silver rights” movement that HOPE seeks to lead.

“The battle for economic equality and financial dignity, which was the final struggle of Dr. King’s life, is the challenge that drives HOPE every day,” said Bryant. “It was an honor for HOPE to join hundreds of thousands of “believers” in Washington, DC and millions across the world this past week to re-trace Dr. King’s steps, re-learn his teachings and re-commit to ‘The Dream’ that he so eloquently laid out for the world.” 

HOPE’s leadership on these issues continues with the second annual HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit, which will be hosted from Atlanta, Georgia, in November 2013. To learn more about the summit and HOPE, please visit: Also, join the conversation about the summit on Twitter @operationhope #HOPESummit. 

About Operation HOPE

Since its inception in 1992, HOPE has served more than 2 million individuals. The financial dignity nonprofit has also directed more than $1.5 billion in private capital to low-wealth communities; it maintains a growing army of 20,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and currently serves more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates.