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By Michael Lollar - The Commercial Appeal -
Marlo Thomas, actress and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital spokeswoman, will join a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a former lieutenant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as winners of the National Civil Rights Museum's National Freedom Awards.
In addition, three New Jersey doctors who grew up in public housing will receive a legacy award for a pact they made as teenagers to get through high school, college and medical school together. They since have made a pact to work with inner-city children to help them overcome stereotypes, stay out of gangs and use education to escape the cycle of poverty.
The International Freedom Award winner, Muhammad Yunus, founded the Grameen Bank to make loans with no collateral to the poorest of the poor in Bangladesh. More than 97 percent of the loans have been repaid. The National Freedom Award winner is Dr. Bernard Lafayette, a minister, educator, lecturer and civil rights activist who worked with King as national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
The awards will be presented Oct. 16