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January 01 2010

Bestselling Business Author and Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant Featured Panelist at 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Annual Conference

Bryant to join community and government leaders to speak on volunteerism, mentoring and other issues facing Black communities

Hollywood, Florida – June 17, 2010 – John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the social financial literacy empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE) was a featured panelist at the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. annual meeting in Hollywood, Florida. Delegates gathered for the five-day event to focus on issues facing the Black community and the nation as a whole from June 16-20.

Bryant’s Thursday session centered in on the need for mentoring programs in our communities. Studies show that today’s young people are underachieving in school, engaging in risky behavior, and falling prey to negative social pressures. One of the few solutions offered to address these problems was mentoring. Panelists focused on the need for role models and focused on organizations like Operation HOPE which have effectively created grassroots community programs.  

Bryant who referenced Operation HOPE’s initiative to curb the high school drop-out rate, FIVE MILLION KIDS (5MK), informed the audience of HOPE’s plan to impact five million youth, their parents and their teachers in financial literacy. Bryant stated, “Few issues can be solved with a silver bullet. Reaching out to underserved individuals and showing them how to first empower themselves and secondly how to make smarter decisions with their money is a critical step towards teaching youth how to resolve other issues in their lives.”

Joining Bryant on Thursday’s panel was Marian Heard vice-chairman of the board for MENTOR, Robert Jackson of Strategies for Educating Black Males, Andrea Foggy-Paxton, program officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr. Rustin Lewis president, National CARES Mentoring Movement; and Brigadier General Arnold Gordon-Bray, U.S. Army.

Bryant’s involvement at the conference will continue on Saturday on a panel focused on the Black Agenda. “From Crisis to Sustained Impact” will have the HOPE founder discussing Economic Empowerment. Moderated by Gary Flowers, the executive director and CEO of the Black Leadership Forum, Inc., the panel will involve author Dr. Calvin Mackie who will speak on Youth Development, Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree on educational issues, South Carolina U.S. Congressman James Clyburn and, along with Angela Sailor, a director at the Republican National Committee, on Policy. Humanitarian and civil rights activist Ambassador Andrew Young, who serves as HOPE Global Spokesman and co chair on the 5MK initiative with Quincy Jones rounds out the panel, speaking to International Affairs.

The mission of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is to improve the quality of life within Black communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans. It seeks to serve as a beacon of leadership by utilizing a diversity of talents to create environments where Blacks are motivated to achieve, and empowered to become self-sufficient shareholders in the economic and social fabric of American communities.