Make poverty history

11 May 2007 at 2:24 pm | Posted in Microcredit, Muhammad Yunus, News, Poverty, Sydney Peace Prize | Leave a comment

Yunus at Vanderbilt Photo: Neil Brake/Vanderbilt University

Professor Muhammad Yunus has received the second Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal and an accompanying prize of $100,000 from Vanderbilt  University, in Nashville.

Yunus, the inaugural Sydney Peace Prize recipient in 1998 and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, received the award on Thursday. Yunus is a Vanderbilt alumnus, having graduated with a master’s and doctorate degree from the University’s Economics Department.

Speaking to graduating seniors, Yunus told Vanderbilt students to make poverty history. He said there is nothing wrong with poor people and that poverty is not created by the poor, but by “the system that we built”.

“The seeds of poverty are in the broader vein, not in the persons…poverty is imposed on some people artificially,” he said. To change that, institutions and policies have to be changed.

“It is our job, your job, to change the way you want it to be. If you don’t want to change it, it will never get changed. So it is our job to create the world that we want to live in and feel tall, feel that we have succeeded in creating the world that we would like to have, and that is the world where I feel nobody should be a poor person in that world,” he told the graduants.

Listen or watch Yunus’ speech.

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