Tavis Smiley

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Tavis Smiley is currently the host of the late night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS and The Tavis Smiley Show distributed by Public Radio International (PRI). In addition to his radio and television work, Smiley has authored fourteen books. His memoir, "What I Know For Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America," became a "New York Times" best-seller and the book he edited, "Covenant with Black America," became the first nonfiction book by a Black owned publisher to reach #1 on The New York Times best-seller list. In 2009, TIME magazine honored Smiley as one of "The World's 100 Most Influential People."[1]

Smiley interviewing Van Jones - March 27, 2008 on PBS network

Mobilization to End Poverty speakers

The Mobilization to End Poverty Conference was held in Washington, D.C. from April 26 - 29, 2009, and was hosted by Sojourners and sponsored by World Vision.

The following were speakers at the conference:[2]

President Barack Obama was also invited to give a major address on poverty at the conference.

"Black agenda"

Tavis Smiley organized and hosted the forum, held on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at Chicago State University on the city’s South Side. The confab offered up a provocative query: Is there room for a black agenda in the “post-racial America” of Barack Obama?

The televised event drew about 3,000 people, heard Smiley lead a four-hour conversation among 12 black intellectuals, educators and activists. The mix included longtime Smiley compatriots, academics like Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson and Julianne Malveaux. Others were longtime black leaders like the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., and Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan. Most of them came, they said, to “lovingly” take Obama to the woodshed.

Smiley with Soros - April 27, 2011 on PBS network

Demos 10th anniversary honor

On Tuesday, May 11th, 2010, Demos, a national, non-partisan public policy organization, honored TARP Oversight Committee Chair Elizabeth Warren, PBS Host Tavis Smiley and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler at its 10th anniversary celebration in New York City.[3]

Poverty Tour 2.0

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary, kick off "The Poverty Tour 2.0: A Call to Conscience" in Cleveland, OH.

The co-hosts of the nationally syndicated public radio program Smiley & West, from Public Radio International (PRI), hit the road September 12-15 2012 to host six town hall events that are FREE and open to the public.

"The Poverty Tour 2.0," sponsored in part by AARP Foundation and HuffPost Live, will visit the key battleground states of Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida. In addition, one town hall event will be held in the state of Delaware. Smiley and West intend to push the moderators of the upcoming presidential debates to ask the candidates about America's poverty problem, and to urge legislators to support public policy and implement programs that will alleviate poverty.

"These new Census numbers will underscore what we've been saying for a long time — poverty is the new American norm," said Smiley. "The time is now to force poverty on the agenda; our leaders can't simply continue to be quiet on this issue."

Confirmed guests include: Peter Edelman, former member of the Clinton administration and co-founder of the Children's Defense Fund; Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers; Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate; Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH); Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH); Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA); Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH); and Jill Stein, Green Party USA candidate for president. All presidential and vice presidential candidates have been invited to participate.

"We're putting the spotlight on our precious fellow citizens who don't have access to a decent job, decent housing, and decent healthcare," said West. "We want to hear solutions that can be duplicated and adapted in communities across the country."[4]


  • Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley (Hardcover - May 1, 2011)
  • What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America by Tavis Smiley (Paperback - Jan 8, 2008)
  • The Covenant with Black America (English and English Edition) by Various Contributors and Tavis Smiley (Paperback - Jan 1, 2006)
  • Never Mind Success - Go For Greatness!: The Best Advice I've Ever Received by Tavis Smiley (Paperback - Jan 1, 2006)
  • Accountable: Making America as Good as Its Promise by Tavis Smiley and Stephanie Robinson (Hardcover - Feb 17, 2009)
  • Empowerment Cards (Large Card Decks) by Tavis Smiley (Feb 2003)
  • Doing What's Right: How to Fight for What You Believe--And Make a Difference by Tavis Smiley (Paperback - Dec 26, 2000)
  • America I AM Legends: Rare Moments and Inspiring Words by Smiley Books and Tavis Smiley (Hardcover - Feb 1, 2009)
  • Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing and Hope from Black America by Tavis Smiley (Hardcover - Oct 15, 2002)
  • What Black Men Should Do Now: 100 Simple Truths, Ideas, and Concepts (Dafina) by K* Thomas Oglesby and Tavis Smiley (Paperback - May 1, 2002)
  • Hard Left by Tavis Smiley (Hardcover - May 1, 1996)
  • Reclaim Your Power!: A 30-Day Guide to Hope, Healing, and Inspiration for Men of Color by Terrance Dean and Tavis Smiley (Paperback - May 13, 2003)
  • How to Make Black America Better: Leading African Americans Speak Out by Tavis Smiley (Paperback - Jan 2, 2002)
  • On Air, the Best of Tavis Smiley by Tavis Smiley (Paperback - Feb 1, 2004)
  • Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope from Black America by Tavis Smiley (Paperback - Jan 6, 2004)
  • Empowerment Cards for Inspired Living Cards by Tavis Smiley (Paperback - Oct 15, 2004)
  • The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore and Tavis Smiley (Apr 27, 2010) - Unabridged
  • From Glory to Shame: The Rise & Fall of Black America (And How She Can Rise Again) A Spiritual Bridge to Tavis Smiley's The Covenant by Samuel L Madison (Paperback - Jun 1, 2007)
  • Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Smiley, Tavis ( Author ) on Apr, 01, 2011 Hardcover by Tavis Smiley (Unknown Binding - Apr 1, 2011)
  • The Unfinished Agenda of the Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March (Landmarks in Civil Rights History) by The Editors of Black Iissues in Higher Education (BIHE) and Tavis Smiley (Hardcover - Feb 21, 2005)
  • The Unfinished Agenda of Brown v* Board of Education (Landmarks in Civil Rights History) by The Editors of Black Issues in Higher Education, James Anderson, Dara N Byrne and Tavis Smiley (Hardcover - Apr 29, 2004)
  • Just a Thought: The Smiley Report by Tavis Smiley (Paperback - Sep 1993)
  • On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show 2004 - 2008 by Tavis Smiley (Audio CD - Oct 15, 2008) - Audiobook
  • On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show by Tavis Smiley and Tom Joyner (Paperback - Mar 1998)
  • The Covenant Two Book Set by Tavis Smiley (Paperback - 2006)
  • Biography - Smiley, Tavis (1964-): An article from: Contemporary Authors Online by Gale Reference Team (Digital - Dec 16, 2007) - HTML
  • Black leaders examine developing contract with Black America* (noteworthy news)(Tavis Smiley)(State of the Black Union): An article from: Black Issues in Higher Education (Digital - Apr 19, 2005) - HTML
  • Tavis Smiley returns to public radio* (Newsmakers): An article from: Jet (Digital - Jul 14, 2006) - HTML
  • Backtalk with Tavis Smiley* (Interview): An article from: Black Enterprise by Kenneth Meeks (Digital - Apr 4, 2006) - HTML
  • Tavis Smiley: shares life lessons in new book What I Know For Sure* (Critical essay): An article from: Jet by Clarence Waldron (Digital - Dec 11, 2006) - HTML
  • Jet Magazine Oct 30, 2006 TYRA BANKS; TAVIS SMILEY (Paperback - 2006)
  • USA Weekend January 22 2010, Tavis Smiley on Hillary Clinton, by USA Today (Single Issue Magazine - 2010)
  • Evidence of things not seen (A CONVERSATION WITH PBS HOST TAVIS SMILEY)(Interview): An article from: Sojourners Magazine by Jim Wallis (Digital - Mar 10, 2010) - HTML
  • New Yorker August 4 2008 Roberto Bolano Fiction, Lang Lang Takes Beijing, Tavis Smiley, Coldplay's "Viva la Vida", Poems by Kathryn Starbuck & Louise Gluck by New Yorker Magazine (Single Issue Magazine - 2009) [5]