"Father of Microcredit" and Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus to Speak at Tufts April 20

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Tufts University will present developmental economist Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, in the Deans Lecture on April 20 at 4:00 p.m. in Cohen Auditorium, Aidekman Arts Center on Tufts University's Medford/Somerville campus. Yunus will lecture on how "Social Business Can Address Pressing Social Problems," followed by questions and answers with the audience.

Tickets for members of the Tufts University community will be available at the Student Services desk inside Dowling Hall starting April 12. Members of the public can reserve tickets for the free lecture by calling Heather Montana at 617-627-4230. Members of the news media who would like to attend should contact Katie Cinnamond at 617-627-4703 or Katherine.cinnamond@tufts.edu for a ticket and reserved seat.

Often described as "the world's banker to the poor," Yunus is known for his pioneering application of the concept of microcredit, the extension of small loans to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans.

Professor Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1976. The bank provides microcredit to help its clients establish creditworthiness, learn sound financial principles and achieve financial self-sufficiency. His revolutionary microcredit system is estimated to have extended credit to more than eight million of the poor in Bangladesh alone, many of them women, and has been replicated in developing countries around the world.

Yunus recently developed social business to deliver sustainable services for the lowest-income population in Bangladesh. Grameen Danone, Grameen Veolia Water, Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing, and G.C. Eye Care Hospitals are recent initiatives in social business, a new kind of business with the objective of making a difference for the world.

From 1993 to 1995 he was a member of the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women, a post to which he was appointed by the UN secretary general. In 2006, he and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below."

Yunus received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University, taught economics at Middle Tennessee State University, and headed the economics department at Chittagong University in Bangladesh. He is the recipient of numerous international honors, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, the ITU World Information Society Award, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the World Food Prize, and the Sydney Peace Prize. He is the author of Banker to the Poor, Creating a World Without Poverty, and Building Social Business.

"To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America," a documentary by New York and Boston-based filmmaker Gayle Ferraro that follows Yunus as he brings his revolutionary microfinance program to the United States, will be shown at Tufts on Thursday, April 19. The screening, which will also include a brief question and answer period with Ferraro, will start at 7:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room in Sophia Gordon Hall on the Medford/Somerville Campus.


Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.


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