LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Operation HOPE, the leading global financial dignity non-profit, hosted the 3rd annual HOPE Global Forum from the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in downtown Atlanta from January 15-17, 2015. This year's Forum coincided with a weekend of celebrations in the city of Atlanta in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
The HOPE Global Forum Annual Meeting convened leaders from community, government, entertainment and the private sector to outline a vision for the modern global economy – a vision that includes all people. Where the poor, underserved and teetering middle class are seen as untapped assets for economic growth, entrepreneurship and job creation. The theme of this year's Forum was "Reimagining the Global Economy: Expanding Free Enterprise for All."
"By bringing together the most innovative, experienced and committed leaders in business, finance, civil service and entertainment, this year's Forum was truly a launching point for developing a real blueprint for a new, inclusive global economic vision," said Operation HOPE founder, chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant. "This forum was truly the most diverse and productive of its kind - over 2600 delegates, a sitting cabinet secretary, three billionaires, dozens of well-respected C-Suite leaders, countless influential public servants, and the most influential post-presidency President in our nation's history. Operation HOPE is moved by the response from our partners and sponsors and heartened by the support of the participants and delegates of this Forum, which allows this movement to continue to grow."
The progress on Project 5117, Operation HOPE's initiative to empower the underserved, was reported during the event. Launched in the fall of 2013, Project 5117, which includes cutting edge programs such as HOPE Business In A Box Academies, HOPE Inside and HOPE Inside Certified Plus, has received over 100 commitments to open new community empowerment offices across America. It has successfully been implemented on the ground throughout the U.S. as best practices for federal agencies, and is being launched internationally this year. The program reports more than 65,000 youth have been empowered through a total of 27 Banking on Our Future and HOPE Business In A Box Academies. Since 1996, more than 865,000 youth have received training through 1,500 schools and community based organizations.
Along with special keynote addresses from William J. (Bill) Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States of America and Julian Castro, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, a number of dignitaries made presentations and appearances during the three-day event, including:
- Michael Arougheti, co-founder, Ares and director and president, Ares Management GP LLC
- Lisa Borders, vice president of Global Community Affairs, The Coca-Cola Foundation
- Steve Case, former chairman and CEO, AOL Time Warner
- Dan Cathy, president and COO, Chick-fil-A
- Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO, Gallup
- Kat Cole, president, Cinnabon, Inc.
- Vanessa De Luca, editor-in-chief, Essence Magazine
- Howard Hewett, Grammy Award-winning musician
- Dr. Bernice King, CEO, The King Center
- Rajendra Pachauri, Nobel Laureate, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- The Honorable Kasim Reed, mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
- William Rogers, chairman and CEO, SunTrust Banks
- Kessel Stelling, CEO, Synovus
- Ambassador Andrew Young, civil rights icon, former Atlanta mayor and HOPE Global Spokesman
The 2015 HOPE Global Forum featured nine working groups (four on Friday, January 16 and five on Saturday, January 17) where attendees, representing the best and brightest from C Suite to Main Street, brainstormed solutions to the shrinking middle class and discussed innovations for the future. Influential leaders led and facilitated each working group session and were offered the opportunity to ask questions to experts in fields related to the topic. These working groups drove conversation about how to produce real positive change in every community at every income level.
MSNBC served as the media sponsor of Operation HOPE'S 2015 HOPE Global Forum. Several MSNBC journalists traveled to Atlanta to cover the event. "Ronan Farrow Daily" broadcast live from the forum on Friday, January 16 at 1 p.m. ET and reporter Trymaine Lee reported live from the Forum throughout the three-day event. MSNBC.com streamed several of the weekend's events live on shift.msnbc.com.
To learn more about the 2015 HOPE Global Forum, please visit: HopeGlobalForum.org.
About Operation HOPE
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been providing financial dignity and economic empowerment to over 2.2 million individuals worldwide. Through its work, HOPE turns check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners and minimum wage workers into living wage consumers. For additional information about Operation HOPE, go to www.operationhope.org.
SOURCE Operation HOPE