More than 3200 Delegates from over 30 countries and continents joined Operation HOPE in Atlanta on January 13th-15th for the 2016 HOPE Global Forum in Atlanta, Georgia. Delegates included 20 U.S. federal government agencies, and 11 U.S. Cabinet and Sub-Cabinet Members from the finance, philanthropy, entertainment, business, and civic leadership industries whom engaged in critical dialogue centered around inclusive economics.
The Annual Meeting opened with a charismatic panel discussion moderated by Lisa Borders, Chair of the Coca-Cola Foundation. The discussion was led by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, former NAACP CEO Ben Jealous, CNN’s Van Jones, and Operation HOPE founder and chairman, John Hope Bryant. The event combined civic, business and political leaders from around the world to discuss the systemic poverty that affects the globe. Hope Global Forums 2016 took a deep look at poverty in America and the critical task of increasing financial literacy, and building credit scores by finding a viable road out of poverty.
“This is great sharing platform that brings leaders together from across the world. It shows that there is a path to financial literacy that can create effective change in blighted urban areas. In St. Louis we have engaged the Chief Investment Officer’s of banks to engage the community more and to increase economic investment. We also must begin to hold individuals and corporate entities accountable for their role in urban blight. We must bring help to the financially vulnerable, credit wise, to bring low income citizens out of poverty.”
–St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones
Elementary, middle school and high-school students who competed in HOPE Business In A Box Academy school-wide pitch competitions were given the opportunity to pitch their businesses in front of a panel of judges at the Forum. Needless to say, these student entrepreneurs impressed the audience with their innovate business ideas, including representatives from Bank of America. They were so impressed with the pitch competition contestants, that they contributed $5oo to each contestant, bringing the grand total to $1500 for the winner, Miniature Chefs.
After three solid days of passionate engagement and discussions, Operation HOPE Chairman and Founder, John Hope Bryant delivered the closing Remarks at the final session. Bryant announced that the Operation HOPE headquarters will move to Atlanta to continue the mission. We’ve had a lot of people ask us where to find this closing speech. You can watch John Hope Bryant’s closing remarks here.