John Bryant - Founder of Operation Hope and author of Banking on our Future
A national community leader cited by the past four sitting U.S. presidents for his work to empower low-wealth communities across America, and an active advisor to the past two U.S. presidents, John Hope Bryant is one of the most authoritative and compelling advocates for poverty eradication in America today. To the producer of the NBC Weekend Today Show John Hope Bryant is "a revolutionary of our times," to U.S. President George W. Bush he is "a social entrepreneur," and to civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy Height he is "a dreamer -- with a shovel in his hands."
Raised in Compton and South Central Los Angeles, California, and homeless for 6 months of his life by age 18, John Hope Bryant is today a businessman and social entrepreneur who have raised more than $400 million from the private sector to empower the poor.
On May 5th, 1992, Mr. Bryant founded Operation HOPE immediately following the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, California, the worst urban civil unrest in U.S. history. Operation HOPE is today operational in 25 major U.S. cities and by mid-2007, South Africa.
John Hope Bryant is a businessman, an author of BANKING ON OUR FUTURE, a book on youth and family financial literacy, a former goodwill ambassador to the U.S. for the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, a partner with former U.S. President Clinton and his foundation in teaching financial literacy and promoting the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a Presidential Appointee for U.S. President George W. Bush, a member of the Forum of Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum, the founder of Operation HOPE, and working with HOPE global spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young, a leader for a new movement bridging from civil rights to silver rights.
In an effort to highlight the critical need for financial literacy education in America, John Hope Bryant has taken former U.S. President Bill Clinton, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, and countless other luminaries and leaders from across the country into inner city classrooms across America, co-teaching a Banking on Our Future financial literacy course for our youth. To date Banking on Our Future has taught more than 200,000 children financial literacy education nationwide.
In an effort to highlight America's low-wealth and inner-city communities as "emerging markets" for the future in 2006, Mr. Bryant brought together current U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz for a first ever policy speech on inner city economic viability, in an inner city, at the Anacostia Economic Summit.
John Hope Bryant has received more than 400 awards and citations for his work to educate, inspire and empower low-wealth communities, including the Use Your Life Award from Oprah Winfrey, named a "Community Hero" by People Magazine on the 10th anniversary of the worst urban civil unrest in U.S. history, named "One of America's 25 Most Generous Young Americans" by WORTH Magazine in 2002, and in 2005, receiving the Crystal Heart Award from the USC School of Social Work, along with the creation of the USC John Hope Bryant Scholarship Fund for under-privileged youth. Mr. Bryant has also received the Vanguard Man of the Year Award from the Association of Black Harvard Women at Harvard University in 2006, the 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Excellence in Leadership Award, and in December, 1994, Mr. Bryant was selected by TIME Magazine as "One of America's 50 Most Promising Leaders of the Future," as part of their 50 for the Future cover story.
Mr. Bryant is CEO of Bryant Group of Companies, a private investment and advisory company, and has served on several corporate boards including 3-Day Blinds, Inc. and Southern Pacific Bank. John Hope Bryant currently serves on the community board for Wells Fargo & Co. and the national advisory board for First American Corporation, a Fortune 300 company.
Mr. Bryant serves on the board of trustees for First A.M.E. Church, the oldest Black church in Los Angeles, California, the national board for the Black Leadership Forum, the board of visitors for Xavier University, the board of governors for the City Club on Bunker Hill, the board of directors of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, the national honorary board for the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the advisory board for Southern California Public Radio, 89.3 FM KPCC, and on the board of the John and Sheila Kennedy Bryant Family Foundation.
John Hope Bryant was born on February 6th, 1966, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, California, and resides in Los Angeles with his wife Mrs. Sheila Jenine Kennedy-Bryant.