The Edit by SocialAtlanta

SocialAtlanta's editors report on Operation Hope, Ray's Restaurants and a new bridal salon in the St. Regis.

Operation HOPE Founder Recognized by TIME Magazine 

Operation HOPE founder John Hope Bryant was recognized by TIME Magazine in its latest cover story on “The Closers” – a list of 18 Black leaders working to close the racial wealth gap. The issue was published February 1, 2024 to kick off Black History Month.

Bryant was honored for his founding of Operation HOPE in the wake of the 1992 L.A. riots and leading the organization to becoming a leading nonprofit providing no-cost financial counseling and coaching in 300 offices serving 1,000 locations across the country. The publication also recognized Operation HOPE’s innovative initiative in partnership with Shopify to provide Black entrepreneurs with the tools to build their own businesses with the goal to create one million Black businesses by 2030.

“Operation HOPE has been committed to using financial literacy to help close the racial wealth gap for more than 30 years, and we are honored to be recognized for this work alongside so many other titans in our community working toward the same mission,” said Bryant. “Our work at Operation HOPE continues with more responsibility than ever as the U.S. economy becomes more and more reliant on the workforce and consumer spending of minorities over the next 30 years. We believe economic empowerment is essential for every American’s future.”

This was not the first time Bryant appeared on the magazine’s pages. He was in 1994 selected for inclusion in the inaugural “50 for the Future”, predicting 50 people under the age of 40 who were the most promising leaders for the future. Other leaders in the issue included Jamie Dimon, Bill Gates, Wynton Marsalis, Maya Lin and John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Meanwhile, just days after the Time magazine issue released, McDonald’s Corporation became a ‘Founder’s Circle’ member of “The 1965 Project,” which seeks to build on the legacy of the Freedman’s Bureu by providing essential tools and resources to help individuals and families make informed financial decisions, foster economic independence, and create pathways to prosperity. McDonalds’ contribution of $1 million bolsters Operation HOPE’s groundbreaking endeavor.

Ray’s Restaurants 

Ray's Restaurants contributes to three organizations in the community
Ray's Restaurants contributes to three organizations in the community
Ray’s Restaurants, with locations in downtown Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Alpharetta, announced the three charities it supported. The company donated $20,000 to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, reinforcing its dedication to alleviating hunger and ensuring that no one in the community goes without a meal.  Ray’s Restaurants also contributed $15,000 to Clark’s Christmas Kids, aiding the organization in spreading holiday cheer by providing 22,000 gifts during the festive season. It did not disclose the amount of it’s gift to Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. As part of the restaurant group’s commitment to community service, it will roll out a series of fundraisers in 2024, with a mission to create a lasting positive impact on the local community.

Bridal Salon in the St. Regis

Mandi Jackson Bridal Salon (photo by Kimberly Evans)
Mandi Jackson Bridal Salon (photo by Kimberly Evans)

Mandi Jackson Bridal Salon has opened in The St. Regis Atlanta. A luxury shop formerly housed in the East Andrews Square in Buckhead, the couture bridal salon, now located in the hotel’s retail lobby area, is a synergetic move bringing wedding designs to the one of the city’s premiere destinations for marriage. The salon space was designed by Atlanta native Courtney Walker of C. Walker Designs. The shop offers fully private, one-on-one consultations and a curated selection of wedding gowns from internationally acclaimed designers including Monique Lhuillier, Amsale, Sareh Nouri, Le Spose di Gio and Mira Zwillinger to outfit the couture bride, as well as mother of the brides.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mandi and her talented team to The St. Regis Atlanta,” says Guntram Merl, General Manager of The St. Regis Atlanta.

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