SOURCE: Operation HOPE, Inc.

November 14, 2007 13:23 ET

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Hosts Screening of "Rwanda Rising" as Part of State Department's AFricaAlive Cultural Program Series

To Rave Reviews, Andrew Young Foundation's Debut Feature Documentary Now Featured on All Delta Airlines Long Range Flights

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 14, 2007) - In an effort to showcase Africa's vibrant culture, The U.S. Bureau of African Affairs today presented a special screening of the acclaimed documentary, "Rwanda Rising," at the U.S. State Department. Prior to the viewing, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took time to personally meet with the film's producer, Chairman of Goodworks and civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young, along with Operation HOPE's Founder and Chairman John Hope Bryant. The meeting was designed to highlight the important work the Andrew Young Foundation (AYF) is doing, through film, to promote the region, as well as inroads HOPE is making in South Africa.

Heartened by the feature's positive message and the opportunity to discuss ways to promote democracy, free enterprise, education, and empowerment throughout the Diaspora, Secretary Rice played a key role in organizing the gathering. "We are pleased for this opportunity to meet Secretary Rice and are looking forward to promoting financial literacy and self-sufficiency in Africa. This film is a perfect example of what can be accomplished through cooperation, dignity, and good will," said Bryant.

Detailing grisly events that claimed the lives of over 800,000 people, "Rwanda Rising" is a story about life's possibilities. The inspiring tale begins after the horrific genocide in 1994 and goes on to demonstrate how Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups united to rebuild their country into a model of economic prosperity. The first of many documentaries produced by AYF, the former congressman and mayor's inspiration to chronicle these events began after he attended a memorial marking the 10th anniversary of the killings. The man who marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. decided he wanted to give the people an opportunity to tell their own story. "It's important for Americans to understand the strategic importance of Africa in our lives, as well as in the global, political arena," said Young. "We always focus on Africa's problems. This is an opportunity to see Africa's promise."

With the support of HOPE partner Toyota Motors, Young invited Bryant to journey back through Rwanda to memorialize a story that warrants Academy Award consideration. "Rising" is the first among many projects and initiatives being undertaken by HOPE Global Initiatives (HGI), Operation HOPE's newly launched program promoting free enterprise globally. Currently in rotation on all Delta Airlines extended flights, the celluloid also features interviews with former President Bill Clinton, entertainment icon Quincy Jones, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and HOPE's own John Bryant, among others. The film is also being made available for community screenings at no charge through AYF and HGI to qualified educational institutions, non-profits and houses of faith.

About HOPE Global Initiatives

HOPE Global Initiatives is a program developed out of the organization's leadership role in hosting ambassadors and heads of state visiting Southern California. It also resulted from John Bryant's former role as the first goodwill ambassador from the United States representing the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva, Switzerland. Its goal is to promote and advocate the benefits of economic empowerment as a tool for vastly improving the quality of life in developing countries, with a particular focus on developing countries on the African continent. The role has expanded to serve underserved communities throughout the world.

About AFricaAlive

Through the State Department's Bureau of African Affairs, AFricaAlive Cultural Series strives to promote Africa as a region of creative expression. Guided by Secretary Condoleezza Rice's Transformational Diplomacy, which seeks to use America's diplomatic power to help foreign citizens better their own lives, to build their own nations and to transform their own futures, the department is engaged in global repositioning.

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