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News Briefs

For immediate use

Sept. 14, 2006 -- No. 425


Housing and finance expert to speak
for department's 60th anniversary

Martin Eakes, co-founder of community development lender Self-Help Credit Union, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 at UNC's Murphey Hall auditorium (room 116).

Eakes' free public talk, titled "Race and Wealth in America: A 25-Year Journey for Social Justice," is the 2006 Robert and Helen Siler Distinguished Lecture and part of the department of city and regional planning's 60th anniversary celebration.

Durham-based Self Help reaches people who are underserved by conventional lenders. The organization's mission is to create ownership and economic opportunities for minorities, women, rural residents and low-wealth families.

With just $77 in seed money generated from a bake sale, Eakes co-founded Self-Help in 1980. The organization has grown to more than $1 billion in assets and has helped provide financing to more than 50,000 homeowners. Eakes also helped create the North Carolina Coalition for Responsible Lending, an alliance of financial institutions that resulted in the state and nation's first anti-predatory mortgage lending law in 1999.

The Robert and Helen Siler Distinguished Lecture, administered by the city and regional planning department in the College of Arts and Sciences, was established by Bob and Helen Siler of Hilton Head Island, S.C. Bob Siler received his bachelor of arts degree in 1953 and his master of regional planning degree in 1955, both from UNC.

For more information on the department's 60th anniversary weekend, visit For more on Self-Help, visit


Presidential adviser to address
environmental policy issues

Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense, will speak about environmental issues at 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at UNC's James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence.

Krupp's free public talk will be in the Kresge Foundation Common Room (039) in the Graham Memorial Building. Sponsored by the Robertson Scholars Program, the talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

The Environmental Defense is a national nonprofit organization that seeks market-based solutions to environmental issues. Krupp joined the organization in 1984 and now leads teams of scientists, economists and attorneys in four areas: stabilizing the Earth's climate, preserving species and habitats, protecting human health and safeguarding oceans and marine life.

Krupp has been on the President's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He also was on those presidents' environmental commissions. He won the 1999 Leadership in Environment Award from the Keystone Center, a science and environment group, and the 2002 Champion Award from the Women's Council on Energy and the Environment, a nonpartisan environmental advocacy group.

Contact the Robertson Scholars Program at (919) 843-5494 or for more information.


English professor to address
poetry, politics and social discord

English professor Dr. George Lensing, an expert in 20th-century poetry, will deliver a lecture titled "Poetry, Senator McCarthy and Me" at 4 p.m. Oct. 8 at UNC.

The free public lecture, to be held in the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building auditorium on Pittsboro Street, is part of the E. Maynard Adams Lecture in the Humanities and Human Values. Lensing is the Bowman and Gordon Gray professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships. He will consider in part whether an art form can influence social and political life and whether the artist has a responsibility to respond to larger political issues.

A banquet honoring Lensing as this year's Adams lecturer will follow at the Carolina Inn. Advance registration and a $50 fee is required. Call (919) 962-1544 or e-mail for registration and more information.

As a teacher of 20th-century American, British and Irish poetry for more than 30 years, Lensing is interested in how poets have responded to the charge that they address political issues. How have poets and other artists heard and responded to that charge - especially in the face of wars, political oppression, economic inequalities and social unrest?

The Adams lecture honors the late Dr. E. Maynard Adams, who was a Kenan emeritus professor of philosophy at UNC. Adams played a key role in the creation of the humanities program and advocated for the humanities in contemporary education and culture.


News Services contacts: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093,