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March 28 2011

White House Deputy Associate Director Michael Blake Recognized at Operation HOPE Reception

“Call To Action” event involves top leaders from Atlanta focused on
 impacting community through economic empowerment

Atlanta, GA – March 28, 2010 – As a prelude to the start of financial literacy month in April, Operation HOPE (HOPE) Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant and Global Spokesperson Ambassador Andrew Young co-hosted an event that gathered leaders from the greater Atlanta-area to hear Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director of Inter-Governmental Relations Michael Blake on March 20, 2011.  

Blake told the gathering that his purpose for coming to Atlanta's Operation HOPE Reception  was to discuss the education of students and helping them gain a greater understanding of the impact and importance of economic empowerment. Echoing President Obama’s State of the Union Address, Blake issued a financial “Call to Action” to the attendees, comprised of some of Atlanta’s top leaders including: The City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta City Council President Cesar Mitchell, Atlanta City Counselor Kwanza Hall, King Center President Martin Luther King III, Elder Bernice King, Ebenezer Baptist Church Senior Pastor Raphael Warnock, Clark Atlanta University President Carlton Brown, among others.

Blake made it clear that it’s his personal mission to help underserved communities and spelled out a portion of the Obama Administration’s strategy for small businesses and economic independence. Blake is currently in the process of crafting incentives and coordinating an Urban Economic Summit in communities across the country. 

Blake applauded John Bryant for his personal commitment and HOPE’s continued work in providing financial literacy and economic empowerment services to under-resourced communities, calling Bryant’s work, “transformational,” and crediting him with creating real empowerment opportunities for individuals and families.  

Bryant currently serves the Obama Administration on U.S. President’s Council on Financial Capability. Recently, Bryant received the “Hidden Heroes” award from the Andrew Goodman Foundation for his work to empower the underserved and was named to the 2010 Heroes for Newsmax Magazine.  Ambassador Young is the Chairman of Goodworks International and the Founder of the Andrew Young Foundation. 

In February 2011, Blake headed an event at the HOPE Center in Washington DC involving volunteers comprised of White House staff, White House interns and students from the Howard School of Business. The group gathered to bring the message of empowerment, entrepreneurship and innovation to students from Anacostia High School, Oxen Hill High School, Preparatory School of DC and the City of David Tabernacle Youth on Fire Church group.  During his visit, Blake also spoke at Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College; two institutions that also host our signature program, Banking on Our Future College Edition.