“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.”
The award lifts up two decades of work undertaken by HOPE, which has grown into a 28,000 member credit union that has invested over a quarter billion dollars into small businesses throughout the Mid-South. It also spotlights HOPE’s work in “bank deserts” – communities where banks and financial institutions have left while residents remain behind.
Founded in 2007, the capacity of the Mississippi Economic Policy Center has been enhanced significantly from its positioning in a community development finance institution. The challenges faced by HOPE’s members ground MEPC’s work and strategic direction. The expertise of HOPE’s practitioners also strengthens MEPC’s policy analysis and recommendations. In this way we all work together to bring HOPE to building a better Mississippi.