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February 03 2015

Milken Institute’s Paul Irving moderates discussion with John Hope Bryant on his new bestseller “How the Poor Can Save Capitalism”

Los Angeles – January 21, 2015 – Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, sat 

down with Operation HOPE founder and bestselling author, John Hope Bryant to discuss, “How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class.” In his new book, Bryant presents a strategy for restoring the American middle class by teaching financial literacy and removing barriers to credit and small-business creation.

Bryant asserts that “responsible” capitalism can increase household income, turn renters into homeowners and restore confidence in our economic system. In the 23 years since the riots, Bryant has tested his theories as a businessman and activist. The Los Angeles native has worked with presidents, educators and corporate executives around the world to teach financial skills to low-income and working people.

In events throughout the year, the Milken Institute brings together influential decision-makers who put great ideas to work in the marketplace and around the world. The mission of Milken is to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. This is accomplished through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented meetings and meaningful policy initiatives.

Paul Irving of the Milken Institute was previously an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University and chairman and CEO of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, a law and consulting firm. Irving serves on the board of East West Bancorp Inc., as vice chairman of the board of, and on the Dean's Council of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University. Irving’s involvement with Operation HOPE dates to its founding in 1992, and he served on HOPE’s global board and executive committee for many years.

 Bryant dedicates this book to the unfinished agenda of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who when he died, was working on issues of jobs and economic freedom, and who said, “If a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life, nor liberty, nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness.  He merely exists.  America has an opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have nots, and the question is whether America will do it.  There’s nothing new about poverty.  What is new is we have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty.” This book presents these techniques and resources for all to use.

Since its inception twenty-two years ago, Operation HOPE, a global nonprofit focused on financial dignity, has empowered more than 2 million individuals and directed more than $1.5 billion in private capital to America's low-wealth communities. It has recruited a growing army of 20,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and helped raise average credit scores for financial case management clients more than 120 points over an average 18-month period. It currently serves more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and most recently, the United Arab Emirates. Its effort to empower underserved communities is a “silver rights” mission to make free enterprise work for everyone.