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March 30 2005

Andrew Young, as Operation HOPE's National Spokesperson, Launches Youth Financial Literacy Campaign

ATLANTA (March 30, 2005) – On Tuesday, April 12, in Atlanta, Operation HOPE will officially launch a national financial literacy campaign - Banking on Our Future Across America, aimed at empowering the upcoming generations of inner city youth. The Honorable Andrew Young, Atlanta’s former mayor and acclaimed civil rights activist, is the national spokesperson for Los Angeles-based Operation HOPE, a non-profit organization that has pioneered national financial literacy and economic empowerment programs in inner cities across the U.S.   He and Operation HOPE founder and CEO, John Bryant, will start the ‘Day of HOPE’ with an interactive financial literacy teaching session with students at Atlanta’s Jean Childs Young Middle School.  They will then host a 10:00 a.m. press conference at the school to address the State of Financial Literacy in America, and America’s first “Silver Right,” the right to financial literacy and the continuation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

With widespread success in many major U.S. markets through public private partnerships, Operation HOPE has educated 143,000 children at more than 500 schools and community-based organizations with its program ‘Banking on Our Future.’ Launched in 1996, ‘Banking on Our Future’ has brought over 2,500 volunteer banker-teachers into classrooms to teach young people practical money management skills while inspiring them to take control of their financial futures. It is the only face-to-face economic literacy program taught year round in public schools at no cost to schools.

“Operation HOPE is proud to have Andrew Young speak on our behalf because we both know that education is the ultimate poverty eradication tool of the 21st century,” said Bryant.  “We believe in our youth and their future, and we have to give them more than love and best wishes.  We must provide them with the knowledge they need to prepare for the economic realities of life and personal finance.  Andrew Young is uniquely qualified to help us in this effort as a businessman, statesman and humanitarian.  Banking on Our Future is about building hope, character and belief in oneself from the perspective of something we all understand and relate to: money!”

On his decision to join the Operation HOPE movement as its national spokesperson, Ambassador Young noted, “Operation HOPE’s track record of achieving economic empowerment for youth and their families in low-wealth communities throughout the country, by educating them in financial literacy, is extraordinary; and I have nothing but great enthusiasm to now be playing a role in the growth of this top-tier organization. Furthermore, I strongly believe that the work of Operation HOPE and other organizations like it are in fact continuing the work of the civil rights movement, or as John Bryant would say, the “silver rights” movement. Dr. King, myself, and a whole host of others succeeded in integrating the lunch counter, and the public building, but we failed to ultimately integrate the dollar, and this is what HOPE is all about.”

About Andrew Young
The Honorable Andrew Young is chairman of Atlanta-based GoodWorks International, a specialty consulting group that provides strategic services to corporations and governments operating in the global economy. He serves as a public affairs professor of policy studies at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Young also is a member of the boards of directors of numerous businesses and organizations, including Delta Air Lines, Argus, Host Marriott Corp., Archer Daniels Midland, Cox Communications and Thomas Nelson Publishing.

He served as president of the National Council of Churches in 2000-2001, and was appointed by the Secretary of Defense as a member of the National Security Study Group.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Young as chairman of the Southern Africa Enterprise Development Fund, a $100 million privately managed fund to provide equity to businesses in 11 countries.

Young has published two books, A Way Out of No Way (Thomas Nelson Publishing) and An Easy Burden (Harper Collins). His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Legion d’Honneur and more than 45 honorary degrees from such universities as Yale, Notre Dame, Emory and the University of Georgia.

Young is an ordained minister, international businessman, sports enthusiast, human rights activist, published author and former public servant. He was elected to three terms in the United States House of Representatives from the Fifth Congressional District of Georgia, and, in 1977, President Jimmy Carter named him Ambassador to the United Nations. He served two terms as mayor of Atlanta and was co-chairman of the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996.

A top aide to Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement, Young was involved in the movement’s inception and served as vice president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He presently serves on the board of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change.