2014

Hope Credit Union Honored for Rebuilding Low-Income Communities One Financial Investment at a Time

William Bynum and Hope Credit Union Win 2013 McNulty Prize

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Aspen Institute and Institute Trustee Anne Welsh McNulty today announced William Bynum and Hope Credit Union (HOPE) as the winners of the sixth annual John P. McNulty Prize — a $100,000 prize that recognizes the spirit of innovation and excellence of private sector leaders who use entrepreneurship to address important global social issues.

Burdened with the highest poverty rates in the nation, individuals, businesses and communities in the U.S. Mid South have long suffered from a lack of access to traditional financial services. Bynum, an advisor to Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama on community development issues and Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, founded HOPE to provide financial services that support jobs, housing, access to health care and other critical needs in the region's most distressed communities.

"Our goal is to ensure that hardworking people have access to the tools they need to buy homes, start businesses, educate their children and otherwise support their families regardless of their station in life," said Bynum. "Hopelessness in a community is when there isn't a clear path to a better future. At HOPE, we provide a vehicle for people to work together and boost each other up to that next rung on the economic ladder."

Since 2008, as other institutions were closing their doors in underserved communities, HOPE has responded by extending a lifeline to residents in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas. During this period, HOPE has expanded from three to 15 branches; increased its member-owners from 9,000 to 28,000; and closed more than 7,200 consumer, mortgage and small business loans totaling more than $260 million. HOPE is working to double the number of people and places it serves in "bank deserts" in the region.

"Each year, the McNulty Prize recognizes the outstanding work of individuals and organizations who have made a positive impact on the lives of others," said McNulty Prize judge and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. "By opening the doors of economic opportunity to underserved individuals across the country, HOPE has proven that financial institutions focused on community development can truly transform weak economies into stronger, sustainable ones, and improve the lives of thousands of people in the process."

The John P. McNulty Prize is given annually to honor the visionary work of an Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) Fellow of the Aspen Institute. An international panel of judges including Madeleine Albright, African diplomat Olara Otunnu and international development expert Brizio Biondi-Morra selected the 2013 winner.

Bynum and HOPE were one of four finalists in this year's competition. The other 2013 finalists include India Leadership Initiative Fellow Manoj Kumar of Araku Originals LTD in India; Catto Fellow Adam Lowry of Ocean Plastic Project in San Francisco, Calif.; and Henry Crown Fellow Chinwe Onyeagoro of FundWell in San Francisco, Calif. Each finalist received $10,000. You can learn more about each finalist and their project at www.mcnultyprize.org.

Bynum and HOPE will be honored at the annual McNulty Prize reception in New York City on November 6. To learn more about Bynum and HOPE, visit www.hopecu.org and watch an interview with Bynum here: http://bit.ly/175pG2T. Follow @TheMcNultyPrize on Twitter and join the conversation with #McNultyPrize.

About the John P. McNulty Prize
Founded by Anne McNulty in honor of her late husband John, the Prize aims to galvanize efforts to address the foremost social, economic and political challenges of our time by recognizing the very best in high-impact leadership. Each year, the winner is selected by an international jury that has included Mary Robinson, Bill Gates Sr., and Sir Richard Branson.

The Aspen Global Leadership Network is a growing worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector — currently, more than 1,700 "Fellows" from 46 countries — who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, Central America, India, China and the Middle East.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, D.C.; Aspen, Colo.; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

Video with caption: "The Aspen Institute and McNulty Foundation today announced William Bynum and Hope Credit Union (HOPE) as the winners of the sixth annual John P. McNulty Prize — a $100,000 prize that recognizes the spirit of innovation and excellence of private sector leaders who use entrepreneurship to address important global social issues. HOPE provides financial services that support jobs, housing, access to health care and other critical needs in the most distressed communities in the U.S. Mid South." Video available at: http://youtu.be/mtne4zZzjBE

SOURCE The Aspen Institute



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