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January 09 2014

Operation HOPE Founder Invited to the White House for President Obama Address on Income Inequality and Economic Movement

John Hope Bryant attends the White House announcement for the new economic initiative, Promise Zones

Washington, DC – January 9, 2014 – Today, Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant attended President Barack Obama’s pre-State of the Union Economic Speech at the White House, where the first five locations for the Promise Zone Initiative were announced. The three year project aims to lift 20 selected communities out of poverty by promoting economic opportunity, education and community development

Joined by representatives and community members from each of the initial five zones, President Obama announced San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as the first targets. 

The Promise Zones initiative will help revitalize underserved communities with high poverty and crime rates by attracting private investment, improving affordable housing, expanding educational opportunities, providing tax incentives for hiring workers, reducing violence and assisting local leaders in navigating Federal programs. The initiative builds on the progress made over the last four years to expand opportunity for every American and every community willing to do the work to restore the heart of the American story.

Accompanying Bryant to the event were Michael Blake, former associate director of Public Engagement & deputy associate director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House and Jena Roscoe Operation HOPE’s first senior vice president and chief of Government Affairs and Public Policy.

Operation HOPE has long been an integral companion of the White House’s battle for economic stability and financial literacy for the American people. As a social entrepreneur and businessman, Bryant has advised the last three sitting U.S. Presidents on economic justice issues and been recognized by the last five U.S. Presidents.

Most recently he served on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability and chairs its Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment, where he focused on establishing local financial literacy councils for cities, counties and states. 

 Headquartered in Los Angeles, Operation HOPE promotes financial dignity through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities in more than 300 cities worldwide. Since 1992 the organization has lead the charge for making the free market system work for low-income communities through a Silver Rights Movement meant to eradicate poverty and build dignity.

Photo of John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Geoffrey Canada founder, president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone.