American Banker Magazine has named John Hope Bryant as their 2016 Innovator of the Year.

Bryant is the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Operation Hope. The group educates poor and middle-class Americans on a myriad of financial issues including, how to avoid foreclosures, building credit and inspires them to start their own small businesses.

The organization gained national attention as a result of the Hope Inside program whose mission is to give their clients the resources to improve their financial situations.

Bryant spoke with Roland Martin during Wednesday’s edition of NewsOne Now about receiving the honor and what Americans in underserved communities could do to improve their chances of economic advancement.

Bryant told Martin the Hope Inside locations help the financially challenged “move their credit scores 120 points in 24 months.”

“Nothing changes your life more than God or love than moving your credit score 120 points because the 700 credit score communities don’t riot … 500 credit score communities riot. So were going to move the economics up, we’re going to get the GDP (gross domestic product) up,” he said.

“We’re going to create homeowners and entrepreneurs and make this so that banks can say yes to borrowers versus [saying no],” Bryant said.If you are a 500 credit score they’re (the banks) are going to say no to you — I don’t care what color you are,” he said.

Watch Roland Martin, John Hope Bryant and the NewsOne Now panel discuss economic empowerment in the video clip above.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

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