Presidential Financial Advisor To Keynote Urban League Equal Opportunity Day

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga presents its annual Equal Opportunity Day breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center. John Hope Bryant, founder and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Ventures, will be the keynote speaker and the event will be chaired by Jeff Jackson, Southeast market president of First Tennessee Bank. 

“The Urban League desires to enable African Americans and those who are disadvantaged to find empowerment and financial freedom,” said Warren E. Logan, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. “John Hope Bryant is a White House powerhouse with an exceptional background in developing much-needed resources to liberate disadvantaged persons and help them step into an improved way of life.” 

Mr. Bryant first became a businessman after his mother gave him a $40 investment at the age of 10. He founded Operation HOPE, the nations’ first nonprofit financial services network for the underserved, in 1992. Today, Operation HOPE is a global organization that believes in “building an economy for all.” 

“An empowered life begins when you change the way you respond to failure,” said Mr. Bryant. “In order to be truly successful, you must be able to go from failure to failure without forgetting your passions, your interests and the goals you dream of accomplishing. Poverty is not just about money, and getting out of poverty is about changing your mindset. When you change your frame of mind, your life will begin to change.” 

In 2009, Mr. Bryant’s business bestseller “Love Leadership: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World,” was published and remained a bestseller for 18 months. Mr. Bryant was, at the time, the only bestselling business author in America who was African American, and he is considered to be one of the only best-selling authors on economics in the world today. 

Mr. Bryant has been an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents, and his work has been recognized by the last five U.S. presidents.  

At the request of Mr. Bryant, President George W. Bush signed the first Executive Order establishing financial literacy as the policy of the U.S. federal government in the nation's history in 2008. He was appointed by President Obama to serve on his new U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans in 2014. 

Mr. Bryant’s work again made history in 2016 when U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew made the decision to change the name of the U.S. Treasury Annex Building to the Freedman's Bank Building. This was the first time in U.S. history that a building has been renamed on the White House complex.   

"We are honored to have John Hope Bryant come to Chattanooga to keynote the 35th annual Equal Opportunity Day Breakfast,” said Mr. Logan. “His history of serving as an advisor to our elected officials and his philanthropic efforts are an inspiration. We believe his message will resonate with those in attendance and motivate us to continue the great work being accomplished in Chattanooga to enable persons who are disadvantaged to find financial security.” 

Each year, the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga—as part of the National Urban League movement—celebrates Equal Opportunity Day as a community-wide celebration of inclusiveness. This year’s event theme is “Urbanomics – The Breakdown of Economic Inequality.” Urbanomics by definition describes a phenomenon where economic priorities prevail to facilitate a community's propensity to generate and accumulate wealth. Furthermore, this economic study explains the economic benefits of closing the opportunity gap; and consequences that threaten the viability of financial mobility and quality of life in communities when the widening of the gap is ignored.  

To recognize corporate and individual leadership in the region, the Urban League will give out three awards at the event: Inclusion by Design Award, Community Impact Award and the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award. 

The Urban League’s education programs include an afterschool program, STEM Academy, Project Ready, Job Shadowing sponsored by EPB, National Achievers Society and the Infinite Scholars Scholarship Fair. The Urban League fosters economic empowerment through the Entrepreneurship Center, NextLevel Chattanooga, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, Employment Center and homeownership counseling. In addition, the Urban League offers health and wellness initiatives focused on improving health outcomes for underserved populations.   

The Urban League is offering several sponsorship levels or individual tickets for the event. All proceeds from the event will support the Urban League’s empowerment programs. For more information, visit www.ulchatt.net or call Lily Sanchez at 756-1762 or lsanchez@ulchatt.net.


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