Celebrating the Women of HOPE
A conversation about the Civil Rights Movement would not be complete without mentioning the women who were instrumental in pushing the mission forward and keeping the dream alive. Names like Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Xernona Clayton stand out among the many women who contributed blood, sweat, and tears, as well as their time and talent for the sake of social equity.
Today, the fight for equality continues on yet another front — financial inclusion. Operation HOPE has taken up the mantle from Dr. King, Ambassador Andrew Young, and others to promote financial empowerment and equality throughout the United States and around the world. The vision for our organization was birthed through our founder and CEO, John Hope Bryant, but a number of women have accepted the call to the mission and daily contribute to the cause. We celebrate these women of HOPE and their commitment to equipping and empowering communities with financial literacy.
The Atlanta-based women featured here are but a few of many who support and work with HOPE. There are scores of others who help drive impact on a number of levels, either through leadership on the executive level, interfacing with the community in the field as financial wellbeing coaches, as a financial contributor, or even as a volunteer. They range in age, religious affiliation, nationality, race, and ethnicity. Regardless of their role or demographic distinctive, they help transform lives on a day-to-day basis.
We asked each of these ladies of HOPE three questions: 1) ”In your own words, how would you describe your role and function at HOPE?”, 2) “What does it mean for you, as a woman, to be a part of Operation HOPE’s mission for financial inclusion”, and 3) “What advice do you have for women seeking empowerment, financially and in general?”
Here’s what they had to say.
Hometown: Oakland, California
Director, Senior Federal Grants Specialist
Project Design Developer | Grant Writer | Government Grant Researcher
Impact of Work: I am at HOPE because of the work that’s done with financial dignity. I come from an LMI community. I can understand the need. I’m from that community. So I’d rather put my talents to work for someone that’s working in that community.
Advice to Women: “Think outside the box. Find something unique that you can do and leverage that for success and to seek financial independence.”
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Manager, Social Media Marketing
Social Media Guru | Ball Roller | Out of the Box Thinker
Impact of Mission: “It means so much for me to work for this organization because I come from an underserved community. Working here helps me understand the importance of financial inclusion and the impact it can have on all communities, especially communities of color. As a woman I feel that it’s important for us to be a part of the conversation on financial equity and financial literacy because we’re usually the last to know. However, now that I’m at HOPE, I’m among the first to know. I’ve gotten the memo, I‘ve embraced its message, and I’m proud to amplify it to others.
Advice to Women: “Fear and faith do not go together. It’s important to let go of your fears. And have faith in your journey of growth and understanding.”
Hometown: Buford, Georgia
Financial Wellbeing Coach
Financial Fitness Trainer | Empowerment Advocate | Transformation Technician
Impact on Purpose: “Working with Operation HOPE gives me an opportunity to inspire hope, to offer optimism and a sense of empowerment, and purpose in the people with which I engage. My work is so loaded with purpose that there are times when I become so full that I have to pause, reflect, and appreciate that this is actually my job. It’s very rewarding. To be able to help others, women especially, and connect to the emotions that have put them in a particular financial state and be able to unravel the “why” of how they got there is beautiful. Even more beautiful, however, is working with them so they are able to have a clearer picture and a working plan on how to move to a better place financially. Just walking with them through the process is so fulfilling to me.”
Advice to Women: “Know why you’re spending, know for whom you’re spending and ask yourself, “Is my spending moving myself towards my goal or away from my goal?”. Have a reality check with yourself and acknowledge that all of your spending should take you towards your financial goal. Be genuine with yourself. Don’t feel like you have to spend to impress. The people you are trying to impress probably aren’t thinking of what you have, nor are they worth impressing.
Hometown: San Juan, Trinidad and Tobago
Senior Vice President, Marketing Communications
Brand Standard Bearer | Chief of Content | Marketing Maven
Impact on Women: “Financial empowerment transcends cultural boundaries. It’s even greater as it relates to women because the ongoing fight/struggle for equality around the world is still an urgent task at hand. My current work is purposeful because I know that I’m helping to add important voices to a larger narrative.”
Advice to Women: “Get to know yourself. Find the thing that you are here to do and do it. The earlier you figure that out the more full and fulfilled your life will be.”