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Media Advisory

Actress Natalie Portman to discuss loans to the world's poor

28 September 2007

ATTENTION: Education, feature and business writers, local print and broadcast reporters and editors, photo desks

Contact: By Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations
(510) 643-7944 yanwar@berkeley.edu

A presentation by Golden Globe Award-winning actress Natalie Portman at the University of California, Berkeley, that will focus on her experience with micro-loan recipients. Portman, 26, will speak in her role as Ambassador of Hope for the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA), a position she has held since graduating from Harvard University in 2003. She will show video diaries of her recent trip to Mexico, where she has seen first-hand the transformative effects of micro-lending on poor families and communities.

UC Berkeley political science professor Steven Weber, who directs the Institute of International Studies, will moderate a discussion between Portman and students about microfinance and the need for young people to get involved in empowering impoverished communities around the world.

Monday, Oct. 1, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

Sibley Auditorium, UC Berkeley. See campus map at www.berkeley.edu/map/

Portman has played leading roles in numerous films including "Where the Heart Is," "The Star Wars Trilogy," "Garden State," and "V for Vendetta." In 2005, she won the Golden Globe Award for best supporting actress for her role in the Mike Nichols'-directed movie "Closer" and was nominated for an Academy Award that year. She makes frequent appearances on behalf of FINCA International as its Ambassador of Hope and currently co-chairs The Village Banking Campaign with Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan in an effort to mobilize the resources needed to provide financial services by 2010 to 1 million of the world's poorest families.