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January 01 2008

Operation HOPE Continues to Deliver Dr. Martin Luther King’s Celebrated Dream of Economic Self-Reliance

Non-profit Partners with West Angeles Church of God in Christ to Support “Silver Rights” Financial Literacy Movement Designed to Empower South Los Angeles Residents 

LOS ANGELES, CA – April 4, 2008 – Marking the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., economic empowerment organization Operation HOPE(HOPE) and West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC) are hosting a series of groundbreaking financial literacy seminars designed to further King’s mission of turning civil rights into ‘Silver Rights’.

Fred Smith, managing director for HOPE Coalition America, has been conducting the educational seminars at West Angeles. As managing director of HOPE’s financial preparedness and recovery division, Smith sees the significance of the partnership through looking back on his own journey. “The protests of the sixties were not only to integrate the lunch counter, but to integrate the dollar as well. Today, the opportunity to be accepted must include the knowledge to make informed financial decisions. This important collaboration seeks to accomplish that, by continuing Dr. King’s historical work in this area.”

To date over 200 individuals ranging from ages 19 – 39 have participated in the trainings. Led by Smith and other community leaders, attendees have gained invaluable insight about financial goal setting and budgeting, emergency financial preparedness, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as well as the federal government tax stimulus program.

West Angeles COGIC, which currently serves more than 22,000 members, is taking the lead in tackling the issue of community and economic revitalization by helping its members understand how to reclaim ownership of their own lives through fiscal responsibility. By encouraging the congregation to become homeowners, to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, and to take advantage of the free financial training and guidance being offered, West Angeles and HOPE are ensuring that Dr. King’s legacy of lifting the poor and promoting dignity through financial parity becomes the mandate of underserved communities worldwide.

Under the visionary leadership of Bishop Charles E. Blake, additional seminars have been planned in the Los Angeles area for April 5th and 26th. Other dates in other parts of the country are expected to be announced in the near future, as a part of the growing relationship.

Anyone interested in attending the April 5th event is urged to contact Diane at 213.943.6919. Those wanting to sign up for the workshop on the 24th should call 310.604.5900 or 323.569.5831 for more details.

About West Angeles Church of God In Christ (COGIC), West Angeles

The Church of God In Christ was founded in 1943 inside a small store front in the heart of Los Angeles. The church has been recognized as one of the fastest growing churches in the nation, with extensive ministry and outreach services including television and radio broadcasts. Bishop Charles E. Blake serves as Presiding Bishop of the 6 million member Church of God in Christ, one of the largest denominations in the country. He also serves as the Jurisdictional Prelate of the First Jurisdiction of Southern California comprised of more than 250 churches. To find out more about West Angeles, please go to