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Hope Global Forums Urges Business Leaders to Promote Financial Literacy for All

John Hope Bryant is advocating for financial education and economic freedom for minority and low-income communities, which he refers to as "silver rights."

December 26, 2022
8 minutes
minute read

John Hope Bryant is advocating for financial education and economic freedom for minority and low-income communities, which he refers to as "silver rights." He is inspiring America's top business leaders to join the fight for these rights.

At the Hope Global Forums, an annual gathering for his non-profit Operation Hope, Bryant expressed his frustration with the current state of affairs. He declared, “I'm fed up with feeling exhausted all the time. Our aim is that by the time your children are grown, financial literacy will be a mandatory part of the curriculum from kindergarten to college, so that everyone can understand the language of money.”

In 2021, Operation Hope initiated Financial Literacy for All, a collaborative effort with major companies like Walmart, Bank of America, Disney, and many more.

In November 2020, the inflation rate was broken down. According to Vanguard, 401(k) 'hardship' withdrawals reached an all-time high. Additionally, credit scores have plateaued due to risky behaviors.

At the Hope Global Forums in Atlanta, a number of influential business leaders gathered to discuss the concept of silver rights and the importance of financial literacy. Among them were Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman, billionaire investor Tony Ressler, and civil rights icon and former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, who were all co-chairs of the Financial Literacy for All initiative.

During an exclusive interview with CNBC at the Hope Global Forums, McMillon expressed the importance of financial literacy for all associates. He and John Hope Bryant have joined forces to create Financial Literacy for All, a program dedicated to providing financial education.

It is our belief that this is a fundamental issue for both families and our nation.

Prior to the forums, Bryant appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" and referred to the event as a "Davos for the working class" that is focused on empowering the poor and underserved.

He declared that we have the capability to make the economy beneficial for everyone. He noted that the 4,000 delegates present were mostly people from the working class who struggle to make ends meet.

Operation Hope is devoted to reducing the wealth gap between Black and other minority communities and the white population. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average white family had $1.27 million in wealth in the second quarter of 2022, while the average Black family had $316,000 and the average Hispanic family had $291,000.

The nonprofit is devoted to establishing 1 million new Black-owned businesses by 2030. This is an additional way to promote economic autonomy and the accumulation of wealth.

At the event, Bryant declared that silver rights should be the next step in the civil rights and global social justice movement that was ignited by the death of George Floyd.

It is possible to achieve both financial success and social justice when looking at the issue through an economic perspective.

Troy Millings and Rashad Bilal of the "Earn Your Leisure" podcast spoke to forum attendees about the importance of demystifying money issues and promoting financial readiness in light of a potential recession. The two have a large following on Instagram, with many of their followers being new investors from the Black and brown communities.

Millings noted that in order to achieve something, it is often necessary to have a visual representation of it. When people observe others investing in entrepreneurship and starting businesses, they recognize it as a potential opportunity and are inspired to do the same.

Our goal is to not only provide knowledge, but to also demonstrate how to apply it.

They advocated for taking a long-term view when it comes to the importance of understanding finances.

Bilal suggested that taking a long-term view of finances can help people make better decisions with their money. He suggested that this could lead to having emergency funds, saving for retirement, and investing in their children's education.

Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor at The Potter's House in Dallas, had a conversation with Bryant about the importance of religious leaders being involved in both the civil rights and silver rights movements.

Jake is a passionate supporter of real estate investing, particularly for younger African Americans.

Jakes expressed to CNBC that home ownership is of utmost importance to him prior to the fireside chat. He believes that one can build wealth through an asset that increases in value.

He noted that the issue in our community is that we are investing in assets that are losing value. He added that the younger generation is not as interested in owning a home because they prefer to have the freedom to move around.

Our goal is not to keep you from progressing, but to give you the tools to become financially independent and build a legacy for your children.

Valentyna Semerenko
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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