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TAVISTALKS.COM

ENLIGHTEN. ENCOURAGE. EMPOWER.

Q4

QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER


TAVISTALKS.COM

ENLIGHTEN. ENCOURAGE. EMPOWER. QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

Letter from Tavis I can’t believe the year is almost over! Time sure flies when you are working hard. Wow, this will be the last newsletter for 2011. As we close out the year, this issue of TavisTalks.com will provide information on what is to come for The Smiley Group, Inc. Our company has been blessed with much success this year and in 2012, we intend to stay the course to Enlighten, Encourage, and Empower YOU. I am very grateful that our Poverty Tour raised the awareness of poverty in America. Our nation must take care of those who are less fortunate, and we as citizens must do our part. Let’s come together to eradicate poverty before poverty eradicates us. I have many great things planned for the rest of the year and gearing up for 2012 and all that the New Year has to offer. Drop me a line at tavis@tavistalks.com and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, you can continue to expect great conversations on both my radio and television shows. Stay tuned for future announcements and feel free to share this newsletter with your friends, family, and colleagues. Keep the faith,


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ENLIGHTEN. ENCOURAGE. EMPOWER. QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

We’re wrapping up our eighth season with some heavyweight names and heavyweight topics. Musician Tori Amos, author and journalist Ron Suskind, Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, actor Antonio Banderas, NBA legend Jerry West, news stalwart Tom Brokaw, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte, and singer-songwriter Carole King. As always, we continue to talk with people who try to reexamine the assumptions we hold, expand our inventory of ideas, and introduce or re-introduce Americans to each other. Speaking of a heavyweight issue, with nearly 50 million Americans now living in poverty, “The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience” was the focus of an unprecedented week-long special series on Tavis Smiley the week of October 10. Each episode was devoted to video highlights from Media Mobilizing Project, a small production company from Philadelphia telling untold stories of our urban community, who captured film from our August 2011, 18-city, 11-state poverty bus tour. Following each night’s highlights from the tour, we spoke with leading anti-poverty advocates including Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West, Feeding America CEO Vicki B. Escarra, Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, economist Jeffrey Sachs, and ethics and religion commentator Jim Wallis. We’re going to continue forging ahead on the topic of poverty. My producers are busily preparing for our upcoming national televised conversation on C-SPAN titled, “Remaking America.” This conversation will air Thursday, January 12, LIVE from Washington, DC at George Washington University and feature a panel discussion with some big-name guests.


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ENLIGHTEN. ENCOURAGE. EMPOWER. QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

And guess what? I’ll let you in on a little secret just because you’re taking the time to read this newsletter. So far, for this huge event, we’ve confirmed the following panelists: Feeding America’s Vicki Escarra, financial guru Suze Orman, Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West, and author Barbara Ehrenreich. You’ve heard it here first! We’ll be making the official announcement soon. I hope you have a blessed holiday season. I’m thankful for loyal viewers and supporters like you. We have a lot of things in store for 2012, so stay tuned! In the meantime, thanks for watching, and as always... keep the faith!


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ENLIGHTEN. ENCOURAGE. EMPOWER. QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

Where’s Tavis? Rewind... The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience Los Angeles town hall was a great event. Wilshire Boulevard Temple was filled with a multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial audience who all had one common thought: “how to make America as good as its promise.” Eradicating poverty and moving our nation toward its greatness should be every American’s desire. Rabbi Steve Leder electrified the audience with his welcome and closing remarks. To add a little fireworks, one attendee referred to Dr. West and me as poverty pimps. Dr. West and I quickly reminded him of the purpose of the tour, which was not to make money, but to shed light on the issue of poverty in America. In a few days, Dr. West and I will attend the Opportunity Nation summit in New York City and share our findings from The Poverty Tour. Opportunity Nation is a campaign to promote opportunity, social mobility, and access to the American Dream. Opportunity Nation has built a broad coalition of nearly 200 businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, and military organizations to help create a shared, bipartisan plan to create better skills, better jobs, and better communities. The belief is that the zip code you’re born into shouldn’t determine your destiny, and when social mobility halts, we are in grave danger of losing the best of America. Dr. West and I are pleased to be a part of the national conversation about opportunity in America, and promoting a set of public and private sector ideas to increase opportunity for all Americans. America I AM: The African American Imprint opened in Kansas City, MO at Union Station on October 22. The historic Union Station, built in 1914, is nearly 850,000 square feet. What better place to tell the history of 500 years of African American contribution to the United States than such a historical venue? The exhibit will be in Kansas City through January 8, 2012. For more information visit www.americaiam.org.


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ENLIGHTEN. ENCOURAGE. EMPOWER. QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

Where’s Tavis? Black Enterprise magazine invited me to deliver the keynote speech for their 20/20 Vision Forum on October 18 in Los Angeles. The forum was a discussion on the future of America and I offered insight on how to develop a future for you. During these economic times, it is imperative to consider your options and determine what your VISION is. Take the time and think about it! Looking ahead... Our annual symposium will take place at George Washington University on Thursday, January 12, 2012, and the topic is Remaking America. We must restore our nation’s prosperity and give every American a chance to succeed, just because they are worthy. Join me and my esteemed panel of guests as we have a rich conversation that will provide encouragement and information to help you and our country move forward.

America’s Next Chapter 2011 Symposium


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ENLIGHTEN. ENCOURAGE. EMPOWER. QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

“The Tavis Smiley Show” from PRI Each week, The Tavis Smiley Show brings listeners the latest and hottest news, stories, and entertainment. From Occupy Wall Street to the Republican debates, there was no shortage of headlines this fall. We spoke with Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), one of the six bipartisan members on the congressional “super committee,” and discussed the challenges of finding common ground with Republicans to reduce the deficit. Former TSA head Kip Hawley commemorated 9/11 ten years after. Meanwhile, Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, explained how their institution is implementing the Affordable Health Care Act, and Washington Post national political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson assessed the global impact of Muammar Gaddafi’s death. In entertainment, as the world watches the Conrad Murray manslaughter trial, we sat down with Jermaine Jackson prior to the start of the hearings for a revealing conversation about his late brother Michael and the controversy surrounding his death, which he outlines in his book, You Are Not Alone: Michael, Through a Brother’s Eyes. Otis Williams, founder of The Temptations, reflected on the 50th anniversary of The Temptations and The Supremes, and musician Daryl Hall of the famed soul duo Hall & Oates discussed his latest solo project, called “Laughing Down Crying.” Finally, with the 2012 presidential elections a year away, you can expect The Tavis Smiley Show to stay on top of what’s happening in the world of politics and how it will affect everyday Americans. To check your local listings and for broadcast times go to www.tavissmileyradio.com. Until then, thanks for listening, and as always... keep the faith!


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ENLIGHTEN. ENCOURAGE. EMPOWER. QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

Social Media

Summer 2011 was filled with activity and productivity in the Smiley World. The keywords in social media included #LeadLoveSaveServe, #China, #PovertyTour, and #TooImportantToFail. Social media has been the driving force in raising the level of discourse in the context of developing young leaders, challenging American assumptions about China, highlighting the plight of America’s poor, and advocating for the success of America’s children—particularly Black boys, a vital demographic that is often overlooked. Accordingly, we have welcomed nearly 8,000 new Facebook friends and over 15,000 new Twitter followers into our social media community. I encourage you to join and follow the conversation every day! http://facebook.com/tavistalks http://twitter.com/tavissmiley


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“Smiley & West” from PRI

Smiley & West celebrated its one-year anniversary this October - and what a month we had! After the final Poverty Tour town hall meeting in Los Angeles, West got arrested twice - once on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington and again in New York City while protesting the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policy. We also mourned the passing of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai who graced us with her presence on Smiley & West in November 2010. Click here to listen back to that conversation. The rest of 2011 promises to be provocative as we follow the Occupy movement to its next level. Also be sure to catch our holiday programs for a tribute to West’s favorite musician, Curtis Mayfield, with his longtime collaborator, Jerry Butler. Join us for year two... and counting!


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High Quality Speakers Bureau With the plight of the poor in America now at the forefront of public dialogue, and with the nation’s middle class still moving closer toward the cliff of poverty, it was only right that Dr. Cornel West and I called on our colleagues at High Quality Speakers Bureau once again to coordinate a Los Angeles–based town hall meeting in follow-up to the Poverty Tour. For the foreseeable future, it is our steadfast mission to continue the conversation on the widespread economic woes affecting millions. More and more families are becoming both food- and job-insecure, and the effects of this issue are indiscriminately pervading many communities. With this in mind, HQSB—along with my staff at The Smiley Group, Inc.—reached out to people of all races, cultures, and creeds to invite them to participate in the dialogue that was held on Sunday, October 9th at The Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Dr. West and I were honored to see that the turnout was consistent with our outreach, as the Los Angeles town hall meeting pulled in an audience that was more diverse than any of the previous town halls scheduled during the August 2011 Poverty Tour. We extend our gratitude to Rabbi Steven Z. Leder and to all of the individuals and families that attended to express their solidarity with our mission. I am also pleased to announce the launch of America I AM: The Multimedia Experience (AIA-TME). AIA-TME is my firstever fully produced multimedia presentation, which debuts on Thursday, October 27 at the NAACP Omaha Branch’s 2011 Freedom Fund Banquet in Omaha, NE, and at my alma mater, Indiana University, on Thursday, November 3. Inspired by the traveling museum exhibit, America I AM: The African American Imprint, the multimedia derivative celebrates the extraordinary impact of African Americans’ contributions to our nation and to the world. However, long after the last artifact in the traveling museum has been returned to its rightful owner, America I AM: The Multimedia Experience will go forward to pay homage to the rich African American legacy line for years to come. Contact HQSB today to discover the legacy line that is America I AM.


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Tavis Smiley Foundation Tavis Smiley Foundation Launches Parent Education Summits The Tavis Smiley Foundation has launched 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 kicked off in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 29 at Crenshaw High School. The program will travel to six other cities scheduled throughout spring 2012. These include: Philadelphia; Houston; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; and Montgomery, Alabama. Funding for the initiative is provided by the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement and Hyundai Motor America. National program partners include the National Education Association. The purpose of this grassroots parents’ engagement effort is to inform parents and the community about educational initiatives and programs, family and school partnerships, and school district resources. The workshop sessions include information on how parents can learn strategies to support homework, plan summer learning activities, and understand the impacts of absenteeism, health, and safety on learning. Parents will learn how grade-level reading determines high school performance and what they can do if their child is not reading at grade level. A special emphasis will focus on the challenges facing African American boys. Research shows less than 50 percent of young Black males will graduate from high school and on average their 12th grade reading scores are significantly lower than those across every other racial and ethnic group. Through the interactive web portal, www.tooimportanttofail.com, summit attendees and the general public can learn more about the issues and engage in dialogue with organizations and constituents. Visitors can share ideas and vote on what they consider priorities through the use of social media. All seminar sessions will be free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration information for the summits will be posted at www.tooimportanttofail.com and www.youthtoleaders.org


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SmileyBooks SmileyBooks is headed into the holiday season with its sights set on the heavens as our star authors continue to help make SmileyBooks shine. First, we are pleased to announce that our # 1 New York Times best-selling author Iyanla Vanzant and media icon Oprah Winfrey are back together… again! Iyanla first reunited with Oprah for OWN’s “Oprah’s Lifeclass” live online webcasts, broadcast with a live studio audience on Tuesday, October 11th where the topic of discussion was anger. She returned for an encore appearance on Friday, October 12th where she and Oprah discussed the topic of joy. Both appearances hit the ball out of the park and Iyanla has been invited back to appear weekly on OWN’s “Oprah’s Lifeclass - Joy Rising Fridays” through the end of the series. Be sure to tune in every Friday through early November for Iyanla’s LIVE appearances and online webcasts. SmileyBooks author and world-renowned preacher Dr. Gardner C. Taylor is gearing up to share the nuggets of wisdom presented in Faith in the Fire: Wisdom for Life just in time for the holidays. The legendary civil rights activist and social justice pioneer cemented his legacy while preaching at Brooklyn’s Concord Baptist Church, and in the next coming months he will return to his “roots” and visit other churches in the New York area. Stay tuned to www.faithinthefire.com for our official announcement on the upcoming church tour. Finally, SmileyBooks is busily preparing for 2012 with the release of the Black Women’s Health Imperative’s, Health First! The Black Woman’s Wellness Guide by Hilary Beard and Eleanor Hinton Hoytt.


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ENLIGHTEN. ENCOURAGE. EMPOWER. QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

SmileyBooks Health First! provides today’s Black woman with a comprehensive guide to her #1 resource—herself. It empowers her with the information she needs to express her full physical, emotional, and spiritual potential. This groundbreaking book is the product of three decades of work by the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the nation’s only non-profit organization devoted to advancing the health and wellness of Black women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Health First! connects the dots through every stage of the life cycle—from adolescence through maturity. Grounded in vital research, as well as the realities of Black women’s lives, it identifies the Top Ten Health Risks that Black women face and discusses what can be done to help them avoid becoming another statistic. The focus is on prevention, awareness, and action across generations and circumstances, presented in an authoritative, yet reassuring personal voice. In an age of uncertainty, Health First! provides the invaluable insights that Black women need to reprioritize their health and establish new traditions of well-being through self-love and self-care.

Q4 Newsletter Tavis Talks  

I can’t believe the year is almost over! Time sure flies when you are working hard. Wow, this will be the last newsletter for 2011.As we clo...

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