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January 01 2008

Vice Chairman of U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy Participates in the U.S. Department of the Treasury Roundtable on Financial Education in African-American Communities

Call to Action summons public and private sector to identify ways to reach, teach and empower underserved minority communities around financial literacy education

LOS ANGELES, CA – March 19, 2008 – In furthering the plan of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Literacy and Education Commission (Commission) to educate underserved urban communities, Operation HOPE (HOPE) Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant took part in a landmark March 4th, 2008, Roundtable on Financial Education in African-American Communities in Washington, D.C.

The roundtable discussion, entitled “Financial Education in African–American Communities”, featured a range of topics such as Preparing for the Future: Youth and Higher Education, Retirement Readiness and Credit Literacy.

Among the distinguished panel of industry advocates and business leaders who participated in the day’s discussion were Dan Iannicola, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education, U.S. Department of the Treasury; James Carr, Chief Operating Officer, National Community Reinvestment Coalition; William Cheeks, President, ABBA Associates, Inc.; Theodore Daniels, President and CEO, Society for Financial Education and Professional Development and a Member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy; Kelvin Boston, producer of MoneyWise on PBS Television; and Farah Gray, Author, Reallionare.

“If you don’t know better, you can’t do better,” said Bryant, who was recently appointed Vice Chairman of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. “Throughout the nation, minority markets serve as an important and yet untapped area of growth for America. As these markets become a larger and more powerful segment of the U.S. economy, it is important that individuals who make up these communities be made aware of all the financial services and opportunities available to them.” Bryant continued, "At Operation HOPE, we call this work the silver rights movement, or making free enterprise and capitalism work for the poor."

To date, Operation HOPE has raised some $400 million in inner-city investments and educated nearly 280,000 youth in the basics of banking, credit, investment and savings, making Bryant a natural tie-in to give the closing address for the roundtable.

The Commission is holding a series of roundtables on financial education topics of special concern to multi-cultural and multi-lingual communities. The goal of each roundtable is to raise awareness of the important financial education topics within the specific community highlighted as well as implore all stakeholders to utilize financial services while exercising personal fiscal responsibility.

The Commission was established under Title V of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003 to improve financial literacy and education of persons in the United States. The Commission is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and is comprised of 19 other federal agencies. The principal duties of the Commission include encouraging government and private sector efforts to promote financial literacy, coordinating financial education efforts of the federal government, identification and promotion of best practices, and developing a national strategy to promote financial literacy. They also seek to maintain a website that will operate as a clearinghouse and provide information about financial education programs and grants, as well as create a toll-free hotline number that provides information about issues surrounding economic empowerment.

Request for comments (to be emailed to: financialliteracycouncil@do.treas.gov by May 23, 2008)
Comments are specifically requested concerning the following questions.
(1) Youth financial literacy: How can financial literacy among young people be improved?
(2) Financial education in the workplace: How can financial education be provided in the workplace? What financial education issues should be addressed in the workplace?
(3) Financial access for underserved markets: How can access to financial services be increased in underserved markets? What markets are underserved for financial services?
(4) Financial literacy research: What questions should be answered to provide a thorough understanding of the current state of financial literacy in the country? What are the gaps in existing research on financial literacy?
(5) Outreach and awareness: What are the best ways to communicate to those who lack awareness of financial education resources?

Commenters are urged to keep comments succinct. Commenters are asked to number their answers so that they correspond to the specific question being addressed if their response addresses one of those topics.

About the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy
The Council was established to promote and enhance financial literacy among the American people. One of the functions of the Council is to obtain information and advice concerning financial literacy. Upon consideration of such information and advice, the Council will advise the President and Secretary of the Treasury on means to improve financial education efforts, promote effective access to financial services, establish effective measures of financial literacy, conduct research on financial knowledge, and strengthen and coordinate financial education programs.

To learn more about the Commission or the U.S. President's Advisory Counc! il on Financial Literacy, go to http://www.treasury.gov.  And for more about Operation HOPE, visit http://www.operationhope.org.

To learn more about the Commission or the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, go to www.treasury.gov. And for more about Operation HOPE, visit www.operationhope.org