Tavis Smiley tackles poverty in America
Weeklong series on PBS and PRI
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Tavis Smiley will put a human face on the alarming new data about poverty in America with special programming on both his national public television and radio programs.
With nearly 50 million Americans, or one in six, now living in poverty, “The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience” will kick off with a roundtable discussion on The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI on Friday, October 7 (public radio), and will be the focus of five special episodes on the PBS program Tavis Smiley Monday, October 10 through Friday, October 14.
To start the conversation, Smiley will sit down with poverty experts on The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI, airing October 7. The panelists include: Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association (NEA); Emily Allen, vice president of the AARP Foundation; Vicki B. Escarra, president of Feeding America; and Patrick McCarthy, president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Each night during the unprecedented weeklong series on poverty, Tavis Smiley on PBS will feature video highlights from Smiley’s nationwide August 2011 poverty bus tour with his Smiley & West co-host, Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West. Stopping in 18 cities across nine states, Smiley spoke to everyday Americans, including children, about their struggles in today’s economy. Each night, following highlights from the tour, Smiley will speak with a leading poverty advocate.
“What I witnessed firsthand during The Poverty Tour was both inspiring and heartbreaking,” says Smiley. “Americans who were recently middle class are now considered the ‘new poor’ and they live in our cities, suburbs and rural communities. But in the darkness, we also saw rays of hope in programs that are working on the ground, right now. The federal government has to find the will to continue to fund those programs in honor of a better tomorrow.”
Featured guests in this TV special series include:
- • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who will address how poverty is impacting the health and wellness of American families.
- • Economist and author Jeffrey Sachs who has been at the forefront of economic development, poverty alleviation and enlightened globalization for more than 20 years. His latest book is titled The Price of Civilization.
- • Vicki B. Escarra, president of Feeding America, which is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization that provides food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors.
- • Jim Wallis, best-selling author, public theologian, speaker and international commentator on ethics and public life. He recently served on the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and currently chairs the Global Agenda Council on Faith for the World Economic Forum.
- • Princeton professor and New York Times best-selling author Cornel West who is considered to be one of America’s leading public intellectuals.
Funding for the weeklong programming on poverty is provided in part by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, AARP Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation.
“Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Does it disturb you that so many people hate you?” —Conservative political commentator Bill O’Reilly to Barack Obama on a Feb. 6, 2011, during a White House interview.
Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, Ph.D., deserve high props for their summer poverty tour. They started on an Indian reservation, hit the inner city, and looked at poverty in all of its manifestations. While many dismissed their high-profile tour as a political ploy, I am absolutely convinced of their sincerity.
In addition, these two men are among the few who have dared utter the “p” word in public.
Tavis Smiley shook the rafters of American comfort when he put a human face on the alarming new data about poverty in the nation. He showed the world what being poor looks like with special programming on both his national public television and radio programs.
With nearly 50 million Americans, or one-in-six, now living in poverty, “The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience” kicked off with a roundtable discussion on “The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI” in October.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Tavis Smiley Foundation announced today it will host a series of parent education seminars nationwide to give parents tools and information on how they can ensure their child’s success in learning.
The Too Important to Fail Parent Education Summits will kick off in Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 29 with six other cities scheduled throughout spring 2012. These include: Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, and Montgomery, Alabama.
CHICAGO, Ill.—A new report issued this week by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found alarming rates of food insecurity among minorities.
In the general population, 1 in 6 Americans, 49 million, are currently living in households that are identified as food insecure, but the rates are much higher for Latinos and African Americans.