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UNT Insider | March 2007 Issue | The Chiapas Project

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UNT becomes the first university in the nation to partner with The Chiapas Project

From a UNT News Service press release

The Chiapas Project

At a Glance

What: UNT's Women in Leadership Day Luncheon, where the university will launch its partnership with The Chiapas Project.M

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. (Please RSVP by March 26.).

Where: University Union, Silver Eagle Suite.

Cost: $15 for faculty, staff and the general public. Student tickets cost $10.

Contact: Marcy Butler at (940) 565-2098 or

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- UNT is proud to be the first university in the nation to partner with The Chiapas Project, a nonprofit organization designed to help improve the lives of women and families in some of the world's poorest countries.

On March 28, President Gretchen M. Bataille and Dallas real estate developer Lucy Billingsley will officially launch the Recycle to Eradicate Poverty fundraising project at UNT's Women in Leadership Day Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the University Union, Silver Eagle Suite.

"UNT has an opportunity to protect the environment while at the same time working toward the eradication of poverty through this project," Bataille says. "I am proud of our university community's commitment to this effort."

Every year, millions of cell phones and ink jet cartridges are thrown into our nation's landfills, putting toxic chemicals into our earth, taking up valuable space and wasting resources.

By bringing in your old cell phones and ink jet cartridges to any one of the depository boxes (labeled The Chiapas Project) that will be placed in various buildings across the UNT campus, you can help make an impact around the world. For every cell phone or ink jet cartridge recycled through this program, The Chiapas Project receives a donation that will support its work.

The Chiapas Project works to eradicate poverty in places like Chiapas, Mexico, by providing small loans to poor women seeking to start their own small businesses. Many of the women produce goods such as handicrafts to take to market to sell, strengthening the economic base in these areas.

As a result of The Chiapas Project, these women are learning how to grow a business, save for the future, move out of poverty and contribute to their community.

A new program, Recycle to Eradicate Poverty, will provide additional funds for The Chiapas Project's Latin America Initiative.

The Women in Leadership Day Luncheon also features keynote speaker Diana Washington Valdez, an investigative reporter who is recognized as an international expert on the murders of women in Jaurez, Mexico. She also is the author of Harvest of Women: Safari in Mexico.

The women of Chiapas, Mexico, will be honored during the luncheon. Billingsley, who founded The Chiapas Project in 2003 and continues to serve as chair of its Advisory Board, will accept an award on the women's behalf.

Billingsley recruited dozens of women to travel to Chiapas to get a firsthand look at the poverty and hardship facing women and families. The inspired entourage returned to Dallas and began mobilizing the forces that launched The Chiapas Project.

The Chiapas Project supports the Grameen Foundation's mission to provide microfinancing to poor women in underprivileged countries. Dr. Muhammad Yunus and The Grameen Foundation received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for its work. Billingsley also serves as a member of the foundation's board.

From 2003 to 2005, The Chiapas Project raised more than $790,000 to help bring more than 4,000 women living in Chiapas out of poverty.

In 2006, The Chiapas Project initiated a $3.5 million campaign that is part of the Grameen Foundation's $9.9 million campaign for Latin America. Since its founding, the group's work has expanded into other countries to help women in Haiti and El Salvador, as well as other poor countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108
Contact: Kim Leach (940) 565-3510

Read other stories in this issue:
March 2007

About UNT Insider

The UNT Insider, a monthly e-newsletter, connects UNT alumni and others to the university by letting you hear directly from President Gretchen M. Bataille.

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