Clayton State University President Dr. Thomas Hynes and James Bailey, CEO of Operation Hope – Atlanta recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help strengthen ties and work together to make a positive impact in the Southern Crescent community. Other individuals who signed the MOU included Clayton State's Dr. Kevin Demmitt, Dr. Robert Vaughan, Dr. Avinandan Mukherjee, Dr. Leon Prieto, and Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi.
The official announcement about Operation Hope’s collaboration with Clayton State University was made on the main stage at the Hope Global Forum, held from Jan. 15 to Jan. 17 and covered by MSNBC (http://www.johnhopebryant.com/john_hope_bryant_/2014/10/update-president-bill-clinton-is-the-featured-keynote-speaker-at-the-hope-global-forum.html ). The event featured former President Bill Clinton as the keynote speaker. Also in attendance were numerous CEOs, world leaders and to-level executives, as well as a delegation of Clayton State administrators, faculty and students.
"This collaboration will further ensure that Clayton State University is focused on empowering the local community and ensuring their dreams do indeed become real," says Hynes.
Recognizing that Clayton State and Operation Hope both share common interests in education, entrepreneurship, and workforce development, both institutions decided to promote a closer cooperation to empower the underserved. The College of Business at Clayton State will establish a Center for Minority Leadership and Workforce Development which will be led by Prieto (Director) and Ogbuehi (Associate Director). The cooperative relationship will be carried out through such activities:
1. HOPE Minority Youth Leadership Academy @ Clayton State University: Providing leadership development, financial dignity and empowerment, and job readiness training to young people, selected jointly by Operation Hope and the Center for Minority Leadership and Workforce Development.
2. Undergraduate Leadership Fellows: Undergraduate students jointly selected by Operation Hope and the Center for Minority Leadership and Workforce Development will spend 10 hours a week interning at Operation Hope.
3. Special Advisors for Workforce Development: In the spirit of collaboration, Prieto and Ogbuehi will serve as Special Advisors for Workforce Development for Operation Hope and aid in the mission of Operation Hope.
Mukherjee, dean of the College of Business, is excited about the collaboration.
“Reflecting an increased recognition of the need for AACSB-accredited business schools to engage in corporate social responsibility and community engagement, the College of Business at Clayton State University has entered into this strategic partnership with Operation Hope," he says. "This partnership will prepare our students for volunteer and community service activities with one of the world's leading non-profit organizations focused on expanding economic opportunity in undeserved communities through economic education and empowerment.
"The large variety of projects that Operation Hope is engaged in across the United States and abroad will provide real opportunities for our students and faculty mentors to participate in the project of their choice, thus helping them to contribute back to their community in a professional and rewarding fashion while promoting long-term commitment and sensitivity to the ethos of good citizenship. We are very excited at this new development and look forward to implementing this collaboration to make dreams come real."