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March 24 2015

John Hope Bryant to Deliver Keynote at Northern Virginia Urban League’s 25th Anniversary Community Service and Scholarship Awards Dinner

Celebrating 25 Years of Empowering Communities and Changing Lives

Alexandria, VA — Northern Virginia Urban League (NOVAUL) announced today that John Hope Bryant, ‘silver rights’ entrepreneur and businessman, bestselling author, thought leader, philanthropist and the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Ventures, will deliver the keynote address at the 25th anniversary celebration in McLean, VA. In 2014, Mr. Bryant was appointed by President Obama to serve on his new U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, focused on the next generation of young leaders.  Through Operation HOPE and its partners, Mr. Bryant is responsible for empowering more than 2.2 million people and raising nearly $2 billion of private capital supporting low-wealth home ownership, small businesses, entrepreneurship and community development investments in under-served communities. For his dedication to empowering communities and changing lives, Mr. Bryant will be presented with the Pioneer Award at NOVAUL’s milestone 25th anniversary celebration on April 24, 2015.

“There is no more fitting way to celebrate our legacy of service than by hearing from John Hope Bryant who has inspired and changed the lives of millions,” said Muriel Garr, member of NOVAUL’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the dinner committee.  “Mr. Bryant and our renowned honorees embody the core value of this year’s theme, remembering our history and preserving our legacy.”

Also attending are Secretary Alexis Herman, the first African American woman ever to lead the United States Department of Labor, Secretary Maurice Jones, Commonwealth of Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and Dr. John-Howard Wesley, Senior Pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. 

Secretary Alexis Herman will receive this year’s Chairman’s Award. At the age of twenty-nine, President Jimmy Carter’s appointment made her the youngest director of the Women's Bureau in the history of the Labor Department.  On May 1, 1997, she was sworn in as the 23rd Secretary of Labor and the first African American ever to lead the U.S. Department of Labor.  She currently serves as the senior vice-chair on the National Urban League’s Board of Trustees and will speak at this year’s gala on why the Urban League is one of the most relevant and necessary forces in the country today.

Secretary Maurice Jones is the recipient of this year’s Trailblazer Award. He was appointed Secretary of Commerce and Trade by Governor Terry McAuliffe in January 2014.  Previously, Secretary Jones served as Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services and Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Virginia Governor Mark Warner. 

Alfred Street Baptist Church, a pillar in the community with bicentennial status is the recipient of the 2015 Legacy Award. Tracing its origins as early as 1803, Alfred Street Baptist Church has been a long-standing entity in Virginia.  Throughout its 200-year history, Alfred Baptist Church has been led by 9 pastors who have faithfully dedicated their lives to leading people both spiritually and socially in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

NOVAUL’s 25th Anniversary Community Service and Scholarship Awards Dinner will be on April 24, 2015 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.  This milestone event will start at 6 pm with a reception followed by the awards dinner at 7 pm.

For more information on NOVAUL’s 25th anniversary celebration, please visit www.novaul25.com or contact Cynthia Dinkins at c.dinkins@nvul.org or 703-836-2858.

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The Northern Virginia Urban League (NOVAUL) is a non-profit, nonpartisan, multi-ethnic, social service organization. Our mission is to enable minorities and disadvantaged others to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights through program services and advocacy. Established in 1990, NOVAUL is one of 94 affiliates of the National Urban League, the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering minorities to enter and succeed in the social and economic mainstream. For more information, visit www.nvul.org.