November 19, 2012 at 14:52 PM EST
Fed Chair Bernanke, Ambassador Andrew Young, Russell Simmons, Global Leaders Join Operation HOPE for Historic Summit in Atlanta

Two-Day Financial Dignity Summit Focused on Community, Character and Responsible Capitalism

ATLANTA, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leaders from around the globe gathered in Atlanta last week for Operation HOPE's Global Financial Dignity Summit to discuss financial dignity and literacy issues and find solutions for the economic problems faced by underserved communities around the world. The Summit, which was held November 14-15, included a community bus tour, the grand opening of HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer, and a Global Dignity Forum.  

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121119/DC16216)

The Summit's theme of Community, Character and Responsible Capitalism offered a variety of programming suited for seeking a better understanding of financial literacy and dignity solutions. The first day of the Summit, Nov. 14, began with a community bus tour showcasing Atlanta's economic transformation. Atlanta's business, government, and faith leaders were joined by Summit participants as they traveled through diverse neighborhoods. Areas of opportunity in the city were highlighted for their potential economic growth.

The morning continued with a block party and the grand opening of HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer. The center will offer citizens of Atlanta tools for managing their finances and building personal wealth. Following the center's opening, the Global Dignity Forum's discussion of empowerment began at Ebenezer Baptist Church. HRH Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway and co-founder of Global Dignity spoke via satellite on Global Dignity's mission to help youth and adults become their best selves and help others to achieve the same.

"The significance of this historic summit goes far beyond big names who attended and the headlines that were made; this was about bringing together decision-makers in business, finance and government with community leaders from Atlanta and across the globe to forge an unbreakable pact and commitment to boost our underserved communities," said John Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation HOPE. "Operation HOPE is humbled by the enthusiastic participation of our summit, and we know that the real work begins now to capitalize on the momentum of this moment."  

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke headlined the gathering as the special keynote speaker with a half-hour address to over 850 Summit delegates on the final day of the event. Bernanke addressed issues facing the housing sector and acknowledged improvement in the housing market, but pointed to continued obstacles to its recovery.

"At the Federal Reserve, we understand the depth of the problem, and the need for action and we will continue to use the policy tools that we have to help support economic recovery," said Chairman Bernanke. "After a long and difficult period, we are seeing welcome signs of improvement in the housing market. An improving housing market will in turn aid the economic recovery while strengthening neighborhoods and increasing the financial well-being of families. Our recovery must be broadly felt to be complete, and families and communities that were already struggling before the crisis must be included in that recovery. "

The event, co-hosted by civil rights icon and Operation HOPE Global Spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young and Operation HOPE Founder, CEO and President John Hope Bryant, included informative presentations by dozens of luminaries, including:

  • Russell Simmons, Chairman and CEO, Rush Communications
  • Don Graves, Executive Director, President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
  • Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP 
  • Alphonso Jackson, Vice Chairman of Mortgage Banking, JP Morgan Chase and former HUD Secretary for President George W. Bush
  • Robert Mooney, Deputy Director, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • Dennis Lockhart, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • William H. Rogers, Chairman and CEO, Sun Trust Banks, Inc.
  • Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO, The King Center

One of the goals of last week's gathering was to produce a detailed report on the findings and ideas shared within the Summit's Financial Inclusion Working Group meetings, which were the hour-long breakout sessions conducted throughout the two-day event. That report will be shared with leaders in Washington and all across the country to serve as an important foundational document to advance the "silver rights" movement that Operation HOPE is leading into 2013.  

Photos from the Summit are available at http://summit.operationhope.org/

Operation HOPE is grateful to its numerous partners for their generous support of the HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit. A full list of sponsors can be found here.

Operation HOPE was founded in the aftermath of the fallout from the Rodney King verdict in 1992 with the goal of reaching every community with an empowering message of financial dignity for all people. The HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit in Atlanta is one of several events that HOPE has sponsored this year to mark 20 years of progress and help develop an agenda for the promising future. Learn more about Operation HOPE at www.operationhope.org

About Operation HOPE
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Operation HOPE promotes financial dignity through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities. Through its four core portfolios, the organization has provided youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, digital empowerment, promoted home ownership, and assisted with foreclosure prevention to more than 2 million individuals, families, and small business owners. To learn more about Operation HOPE, visit www.operationhope.org, follow us our Twitter, @operationhope, and like us on Facebook.

SOURCE Operation HOPE

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