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May 03 2006

Operation HOPE Hosts Anacostia Economic Summit

Plenary Sessions Focus on Silver Rights Through Financial Literacy, Home Ownership,
Education and Jobs
 
(Washington, D.C.) May 3, 2006 – Today Operation HOPE and Mayor Anthony Williams are kicking off the Anacostia Economic Summit at the Town Hall Education Arts & Recreation (THEARC) to explore ways to revitalize underserved communities that are going through major economic revitalizations, just like Anacostia, responsibly. World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other leaders will speak about the areas’ economic situation.
 
The summit comes at an important time for Anacostia.  A number of recent developments, including the influx of people fleeing the suburbs, the prospective development of the riverfront, and the decision to build a new baseball stadium, have brought the area to the threshold of major economic revival. 
 
In addition to world financial giants Wolfowitz and Bernanke, summit participants will hear from civil rights activist and legend Dorothy Height and Operation HOPE National Spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young and participate in several plenary sessions to discuss ideas on how to encourage investment and stimulate commerce without tearing the social fabric of the community.  Each plenary session will be led by a moderator and feature experts in the field.  Topics will include education, financial literacy, jobs, homeownership, entrepreneurship/small business, health, environment; community service, faith, dignity and the government.
 
“Economic growth in historic Anacostia needs to go hand in hand with balanced ownership,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE. “The urban revitalization and economic growth needs to include those who call the old Anacostia home, with those who soon will call the new Anacostia home too.”
 
The Summit is only the latest initiative in Operation HOPE’s on-going campaign for Silver Rights.  The Silver Rights Movement seeks to pick up where the late Dr. King, Ambassador Andrew Young and others left off, seeking to integrate the dollar as civil rights leaders integrated the lunch counter, bringing resources, technology, and opportunity to low-income communities through partnerships between government, community and the private sector.  In 2000, Operation HOPE hosted its first National Inner City Economic Summit in Los Angeles, featuring then U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and in 2002, Operation HOPE hosted President Bush’s visit with area residents and business leaders in Los Angeles.
 
"Whether you\'re in a developing country or in one of the richest countries in the world, poverty doesn\'t just mean poverty in income," said World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. “Poverty also means not being able to give your children the opportunity to achieve their full potential.  We must look for ways to close the income gap and create opportunities for the citizens of this community."
 
Through funding by E*TRADE Financial, HOPE opened the Washington, D.C. HOPE Center in historic Anacostia in May 2005. The center employs eight full-time employees and has been  essential in promoting Silver Rights to local ward 8 residents, helping local residents to achieve their dreams of homeownership and entrepreneurship.
 
The Anacostia Economic Summit is sponsored by the following sponsors: gold sponsors are E*TRADE Financial, Citigroup, General Electric; silver sponsor is Toyota; and, bronze sponsors are First American, Verizon and NCRC.
 
 
Operation HOPE, Inc. is America\'s first nonprofit social investment bank and a national provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment programs. It works to bring self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America\'s inner-city communities. The three key programs, which serve as the foundation for delivering HOPE’s financial literacy programs are HOPE Coalition America, Banking on Our Future, and neighborhood HOPE Centers. To date, HOPE has created more than 800 new homeowners and 250 small business owners, more than $125 million in funded loans, and more than $240 million in commitments for homeownership and small business loans from their 250 bank and corporate partners. Operation HOPE has helped thousands of Katrina victims with emergency financial counseling as well as helped thousands more through a partnership with former President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation to claim EITC benefits Katrina victims rightly deserve from the federal government. At the core of HOPE’s mission to eradicate poverty and empower the wealthless is a movement to establish “silver rights” or the right to financial literacy, access to capital, and equality of opportunity for the underserved. HOPE and its programs can be found online at www.operationhope.org.                                          
 
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