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Martin Luther King Jr. is jostled in Memphis as the march he's leading on March 28, 1968 turns violent. Photo courtesy University of Memphis Libraries.

King's Last March

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Four decades later, King remains one of the most vivid symbols of hope for racial unity in America. But that's not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Get banks to fund a microcredit program for poor in the United States

File under: income, microfinance, geneva global, opportunity international, HOPE International, mediamavens.com, enrichment.com

4 (1 votes)

From: Mike S., Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Microcredit (or microfinance) is working in developing countries. Poor, working people (primarily women) are given a small loan, funded by donors through an NGO (non-governmental organization), to operate a small business. This lifts them and their family out of intractable, chronic poverty.

Microcredit hasn't had a real launch in the United States, because the small loans would obviously have to be larger here than what they would be in the developing world.

Let a bank -- e.g., Bank of America -- sponsor a fund that would be targeted to poor, working people in each of the market areas of each branch bank. Monies to loan out would come in through bank customer donations (the bank could appeal to customers to give "x" dollars each month from their checking accounts), and through a percentage of the bank's own monies. The bank would work with one or more acknowledged microfinance agencies for distribution.

The public relations for the bank would be terrific; this could be a customer magnet for new accounts, far offsetting whatever the bank would be doling out.


Comments:

Tina W.
From Minneapolis, MN

Like with many things in the US I would be afraid it would be exploited. However it could work if the people "donating" the money got their money back when the borrower begins paying back the loan. This is how Prosper Marketplace, Inc works. But, I like this idea. Give everyone who wants it a reason to be proud of themselves, and feel good about giving back to their local economy. The biggest problem as I see it, is that you have to use people in order to get ahead these days. This is why I will never have enough to make ends meet. But a bunch of small local businesses who can even barter would be good. A little money is exchanged, a promise to help when needed, and the heart of our communities could be returned too.


American RadioWorks |
Martin Luther King Jr. is jostled in Memphis as the march he's leading on March 28, 1968 turns violent. Photo courtesy University of Memphis Libraries.

King's Last March

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Four decades later, King remains one of the most vivid symbols of hope for racial unity in America. But that's not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.

Recent Posts

  • 01.22.15

    Free Community College for All

    President Barack Obama wants to make the first two years of community college free for what he calls “responsible students” who are “willing to work for it.” It’s being called “America’s College Promise.” This week on the podcast we examine the prospect of free community college for all.
  • 01.14.15

    What’s in a number?

    Our guest this week has a message for high school seniors and their parents who are poring over the latest college rankings lists: Put ‘em down.
  • 01.05.15

    Following the Money in Education Philanthropy

    Philanthropic foundations have been giving money to public education for years. But our guest this week argues that philanthropies are increasingly pushing specific educational agendas.
  • 12.23.14

    Who’s missing from the achievement gap debate?

    The achievement gap refers to the disparities in academic success between lower-income students of color and their more affluent white counterparts. But according to Quyen Dinh, executive director of the national advocacy organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), one group often left out of the conversation is Southeast Asian American students.