John Hope Bryant is an African American entrepreneur and philanthropist who is driven to create financial inclusion and equal opportunity through his nonprofit Operation HOPE. Every year, he hosts the Hope Global Forums, and this year the event was held May 29-31, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.
Speakers including former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador Andrew Young, rapper T.I., and the founder and CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, shared their insight, and there also was a special women’s entrepreneurship accelerator event.
Rolling out spoke with some of the Black female business owners who were in attendance to see what they took away from the event.
Maggie Linton, who has served as the mistress of ceremony for five years, shared what she learned from Bryant, her close friend and the founder of the conference.
“John Hope Bryant and I have been friends for six to eight years, and one of the things that he has always spoken about and tried to get people to understand is their silver rights,” Linton said, spelling the word “silver” for emphasis. “Way too often we use the excuse of being Black as a reason for failure. It’s not. It’s a reason for success.”
Atlanta-based career and life coach Michelle Glover expressed her excitement about the event. “This was a phenomenal conference, one of a kind. I would say the super bowl of conferences for business owners, for entrepreneurs and community leaders,” she said.
Shakeera Springs, owner of So Refreshed Beauty, said she appreciated the diversity among the conference’s participants. “I’m here for the entrepreneurial aspect, but at the same time, I am a leader and an author as well,” she said. “What I picked up from sitting in the front row is that everyone here is from different walks of life and at the end of the day you have to have the passion and drive for whatever you want to do in life. If you have a passion for it you’ll be able to find a way — no complaints.
“Ambassador Andrew Young wrapped it up [by] saying, ‘Money is cool, but it was people who paved the way for us like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks,'” she added. “While we’re making this money, we have to make sure that we are putting it back into the community.”