John Hope Bryant takes ‘Financial Literacy for All’ to the NASDAQ to kick off Financial Literacy Month

The founder, chairman and CEO of Operation Hope, John Hope Bryant, is a champion for financial well-being and inclusion in the Black community. As a prominent thought leader, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Bryant has been named one of Atlanta’s “Most Admired CEOs” and traveled the world to meet the needs of the underserved. On April 5, 2022, he kicked off National Financial Literacy Month at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square. During the iconic opening bell-ringing ceremony, Bryant also offered an homage to his mentor Ambassador Andrew Young and commemorated the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy of fighting for poor people’s economic rights.

Ambassador Andrew Young, who serves as Operation HOPE’s global spokesman, was on the balcony with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, when he was assassinated. King said, “We’re here to redeem the soul of America with a triple aim of a war, racism, and poverty.” While King’s initial mission was to stamp out racism, he emerged to take a position against the war in Vietnam and eradicate poverty for people of all races. This game-changing mindset is what Bryant calls transitioning from “Civil rights to silver rights.”

John Hope Bryant takes 'Financial Literacy for All' to the NASDAQ to kick off Financial Literacy Month
John Hope Bryant and his wife Chaitra Dalton Bryant. Photo Provided

“There are more poor Whites in America, a little-known fact. Unfortunately, his life was snuffed out before he was able to make that power pivot. It just so happens this is the week of his assassination,” Bryant said. Fifty-four years ago this month, King was assassinated at the Loraine Motel after traveling to Memphis, Tennessee, and giving his final speech in support of striking sanitation workers.

Bryant added, “You don’t have a rainbow without a storm first. It is a scientific fact. Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. It’s also interesting, in addition to this marking the week of Dr. King’s assassination, it’s the 30-year anniversary of the riots of 1992 in South Central Los Angeles. It also marks the genesis of my life’s calling: to create what would soon become Operation HOPE.”

Since founding HOPE, Bryant’s efforts have resulted in the federal adoption of financial literacy policies by then-President George W. Bush, a Republican, as well as by President Obama, a Democrat. In stressing the need for increased financial literacy among youth and adults, Bryant commented, “Whether you’re red or blue, Black or White, we all just want to see some more green.”

During his remarks, Bryant also shared that the current mayor of the city of Atlanta, Andre Dickens, as well as former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms cast the vote — in the moral capital of America and Atlanta and birthplace of civil rights — to create saving accounts for every kindergarten child in the city. In addition to the accounts, youth and their families will gain access to free wraparound services and tools to improve their financial well-eing.

Last week, Bryant was a featured speaker at the World Government Summit in Dubai where he spoke about building effective public-private partnerships. His visit to the NASDAQ, where the future of companies and free enterprise reign, marks a full-circle moment. Both Bryant and Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, serve as co-chairs for the Financial Literacy for All movement.

“You’re all sitting at a moment in history. Thank you to NASDAQ, Squawk Box, FL4A partners and the entire Operation HOPE family for your commitment to this critical issue. Together we will positively shift the tides in America,” he said.

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