"Every day you look up, there's another scandal; someone else getting caught in a lie. Every time we have these stories that continue to betray our trust, it makes it harder to believe. It's just a consequence of the world that we live in. So, our hope is that our program offers an antidote to the feeling that people have of not knowing who to trust or believe . . . My mission is to introduce Americans to each other, and the way to do that is give everybody some of everything."
Tavis Smiley, from a Q&A on the PBS site talking about his TV talk show
Photo Linked From: http://www.npr.org/about/people/bios/biophotos/ts_sig_nprorg.jpg
In November, 1995, Smiley declined to renew his contract with National Public Radio, citing it for "failing to meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans" -- and jumped to Public Radio International.
""Somebody has got to talk to this next generation of journalists to let them know of the responsibility they have in this multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America," Smiley said in a Jan. 11, 2005 interview with The Assocated Press.
In a July 31, 2005 commentary in The Washington Post, Smiley said: "At a time when much of American programming consists of competitions to walk over hot lava while eating live worms, a special effort must be made to embrace, grow and reward intelligent and inclusive conversation. If not, we deserve what we get."
BIO BELOW EXCERPTED AUG. 15, 2005 FROM:
Time selected him as one of America's 50 most promising young leaders. Newsweek profiled him as one of the "20 people changing how Americans get their news," and dubbed him one of the nation's "captains of the airwaves." The New York Post screamed "Look out, Larry King -- here comes Tavis Smiley!" The Los Angeles Times says he's on the "fast track, left lane," and the Philadelphia Inquirer calls Smiley one of the most important political voices of his generation.
As the former host of BET TONIGHT with Tavis Smiley on Black Entertainment Television, Tavis Smiley became known as black America's favorite talk show host. Honored with the NAACP Image Award for Best News, Talk or Information Series for three consecutive years, Smiley has authored five books. His most recent release, How to Make Black America Better, is a clarion call to African-Americans to take control of their own destiny. He is also the publisher of The Smiley Report newsletter. In addition to hosting The Tavis Smiley Show on NPR, Smiley currently offers political commentary on radio's Tom Joyner Morning Show. He is a contributing editor for USA Weekend magazine, a correspondent for CNN and an ABC-TV special correspondent for Good Morning America and Primetime Thursday.
Smiley's advocacy has been profiled on 60 Minutes and has earned him numerous awards and recognitions. Among them: the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award from the National Association of Minorities in Communications.
Smiley is founder of the Tavis Smiley Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage, empower and enlighten black youth. Youth to Leaders (Y2L), the cornerstone program of the Foundation, is an annual series of one-day leadership-building conferences in cities across the United States. Tavis Smiley Presents, a subsidiary of The Smiley Group, Inc., has produced the groundbreaking Black Think Tank series broadcast internationally on C-SPAN.
Educated at Indiana University, Smiley was previously a top aide to former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley. He has appeared as an analyst on shows including Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, the Today show and World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
One of 10 children, Smiley is single and lives in Los Angeles. In his spare time, he enjoys a good game of Scrabble with friends.