RISE Financial Pathways hosted its 2023 Power Luncheon on March 29 and presented Operation HOPE Chairman, Founder, and CEO John Hope Bryant with the 2023 Robert A. McNeely Trailblazer Award, the organization’s highest honor.
RISE (Reach. Invest. Succeed. Earn.) is a nonprofit that serves communities within Los Angeles County, particularly South Los Angeles, a region that is suffering from some of the highest unemployment in the nation. The event, which was themed “RISE: The Reunion, The Resurgence!” also honored other business leaders. RISE and its CEO Forescee Hogan-Rawls celebrated 30 years of community economic investment at the Power Luncheon.
John Hope Bryant is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Atlanta-based Operation HOPE, Inc., a leading national nonprofit dedicated to financial literacy and economic empowerment. Since its inception in 1992, Operation HOPE has served over 4 million people and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities.
“Three decades ago, when I first had the vision to help uplift our communities through the work of Operation HOPE, Los Angeles is where it all started. It’s an honor to be back and celebrated in my hometown,” said John Hope Bryant. “As we continue this important work together, I want everyone to remember that the ‘Silver Rights’ movement matters for all. I am grateful to RISE and its leadership for bestowing me with the distinguished McNeely Trailblazer Award.”
The Robert A. McNeely award was named after one of the organization’s cofounders who educated local banks on how they could invest in the community and profit at the same time. McNeely was a leader in the enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1978, a federal law that had not been properly implemented in low-income communities.
In addition to founding Operation HOPE, Bryant is also the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Bryant Group Ventures and Principal of The Promise Homes Company, which is the largest minority-controlled owner of single-family rental homes in the United States. Bryant has served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. At the recommendation of Mr. Bryant, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew renamed the former U.S. Treasury Annex Building the Freedman’s Bank Building.
Operation HOPE’s mission promotes social justice through an economic lens. Today, the Atlanta-based organization continues to experience significant growth with a focus on providing resources to historically underserved communities. With more than 230 ‘HOPE Inside’ locations across the country, HOPE’s team of certified coaches supports a diverse group of clients through initiatives to help improve financial wellness, increase homeownership and build small businesses. For more information, visit OperationHope.org.
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org.