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April 17 2013

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell to Moderate HOPE Forum Discussion with U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry at HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer in Atlanta


Other key leaders join for critical dialogue about financial services for underserved communities on 50th Anniversary of Dr. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail

ATLANTAApril 16, 2013--  Operation HOPE will host its latest HOPE Forum on Tuesday, April 16th at the HOPE Financial Dignity Center, housed at the Martin Luther King Sr. Community Resources Complex at Ebenezer, led by the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry, Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell and other key Atlanta and financial industry leaders. This discussion focused on how to develop financial services and effective new models to serve underserved, under-resourced and low-wealth communities in a new-era banking environment. To read the Comptroller's remarks, click here.

Curry assumed his role as administrator of national banks and chief officer of the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in April 2012. He is responsible for the regulation and supervision of more than 2,000 financial institutions, managing over $10 trillion in assets, which represents more than 71 percent of the total commercial banking assets in the nation. The Comptroller also serves as a director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and NeighborWorks® America.

Council President Mitchell, who has served in his role since 2010, has been a true leader for underserved communities during his time as a public servant. He has been a champion for legislation to facilitate economic revitalization in underdeveloped areas of Atlanta.

As Operation HOPE celebrates Financial Capability Month in April, it recognizes Martin Luther King, Sr. 's (Daddy King) important role in the banking community and his 40 years of service on the board of a bank, as seed for Martin Luther King 's clear understanding of the power of economics.

The Forum also coincides with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 's famed Letter from Birmingham Jail, which was an important milestone of the Civil Rights Movement and still serves as a reminder for the need to extend "silver rights" to underserved communities across the nation.

Along with U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Curry and Council President Mitchell, a number of important leaders will be on hand for this historic dialogue. These leaders include:

  • Bill Rogers, chairman, president and CEO, SunTrust Banks
  • Michael Julian BondCity of Atlanta councilman
  • Joe Brannen, president and CEO, Georgia Bankers Association
  • John H. Eaves, Ph.D., chairman, Fulton County Commission
  • Jack Markwalter, chairman and CEO, Atlantic Trust Wealth Management
  • Brian McGowan, president and CEO, INVEST Atlanta
  • Nan Grogan OrrockGeorgia state senator
  • Steve PlegerState of Georgia Deputy Commissioner for Banking and Finance
  • Brant Standridge, group/state president, BB&T
  • Raphael Warnock, senior pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church

"America has changed significantly over the course of the recent global economic crisis, but what has not changed is our collective need to find effective and substantive, even sustainable ways to reach and serve traditionally low-wealth and underserved communities across the country," said John Hope Bryant , Operation HOPE founder, chairman and CEO. "I am grateful to have dynamic leaders like U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, with his deep knowledge of our financial system, and Council President Ceasar Mitchell , with his dedication and connection to Atlanta, to lead this important discussion. And we're fortunate to have contributions from a number of key community organizations and leading financial institutions to enrich this dialogue."

"We at Ebenezer are pleased to partner with Operation HOPE for an important conversation on economic empowerment on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail," said Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock , senior pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. "The times are different, but in a real sense, many of the issues are the same - when we empower the people we empower the entire nation."

"It is appropriate that this discussion will occur on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail, considering his lifelong concern for achieving financial parity and equity for underserved communities," Bryant noted.

The HOPE Forum series is part of Operation HOPE's commitment to bring access and financial dignity to underserved communities, by raising their credit scores and improving financial literacy. The next HOPE Forum, "Investing in Your Health", will feature Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin on May 17th at the HOPE Financial Dignity Center Atlanta.

About Operation HOPE
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Operation HOPE promotes financial dignity through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities. Through its four core portfolios, the organization has provided youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, digital empowerment, promoted home ownership, and assisted with foreclosure prevention to more than 2 million individuals, families, and small business owners. To learn more about this event and similar Operation HOPE projects, visit, follow us on Twitter, @operationhope, and like us on Facebook