PBS TV Personality – Tavis Smiley
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 03, (CUOPM)
The keynote speaker at the Prime Minister’s 2014 New Year’s Gala this Saturday 4th January is Mr. Tavis Smiley.
This has been disclosed by Chairperson of the Prime Minister’s Gala Committee, the Hon. Marcella Liburd, who also disclosed that the international entertainer this year is Trinidadian David Rudder.
Seen nightly by television viewers in St. Kitts and Nevis and around the globe for the past ten years on The Tavis Smiley Show, Mr. Smiley has brought into our homes, via PBS Channel 22, his fascinating exchanges with figures as varied as Barack Obama and Denzil Washington, Bill Clinton and Morgan Freeman, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Chris Rock, Richard Gere and Kate Winslett, Serena Williams, Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Wasserman Schultz, and countless others.
Based in Los Angeles where he heads a holding company incorporating broadcast and print media, lectures and symposia, book publishing and the internet, he was honoured by TIME magazine in 2009 as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People”. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has also announced that in 2014 Smiley will be honoured with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Mr. Smiley joins an impressive list of international figures who have joined the Prime Minister for this annual event ““ figures such as Randall Robinson (founder of TransAfrica); Harry Belafonte (singer and actor); Maxine Waters (US Congresswoman); Cicely Tyson (actress); David Thompson (former Prime Minister of Barbados); Louis Farrakhan (Nation of Islam); Charles Ogletree (Harvard Law Professor); Danny Glover (actor, director, political activist); PJ Patterson (former Prime Minister of Jamaica); Earl Graves (founder of Black Enterprise); Izzat Dajani (CEO, Qatar Citigroup), and others.
From his celebrated conversations with world figures to his work to inspire the next generation of leaders, Tavis Smiley””broadcaster, author, publisher, advocate and philanthropist””has emerged as an outstanding voice for change. Smiley is currently the host of the late-night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS, as well as The Tavis Smiley Show and Smiley & West both from Public Radio International (PRI), and the daily radio program, Tavis Talks, on the Tavis Smiley Network (TSN).
In addition to his radio and television work, Smiley has written 16 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 his book, FAIL UP: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure, now available in trade paperback, Smiley steps from behind the curtain of success to recount 20 instances of perceived “failures” that were, in fact, lessons that shaped the principles and practices he employs today. Readers will find a kinship in Smiley’s humanness that inspires, informs and reminds us of our inherent ability to achieve and grow despite life’s inevitable setbacks.
In his latest New York Times best seller, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto, Smiley and his co-author Dr. Cornel West take on the “p” word””poverty. In this game-changing book, they challenge all Americans to re-examine their assumptions about poverty in America””what it really is and how to eradicate it.
Smiley is the presenter and creative force behind AMERICA I AM: The African American Imprint. This unprecedented traveling museum exhibition, which debuted in January 2009, toured the country for four years celebrating the extraordinary impact of African American contributions to our nation and the world, as told through rare artifacts, memorabilia and multimedia.
Smiley’s most gratifying accomplishments are rooted in his passion to inspire the next generation of leaders. The nonprofit Tavis Smiley Foundation was established to provide leadership training and development for youth. Since its inception, more than 6,000 young people have participated in the foundation’s Youth to Leaders training workshops and conferences.
His communications company, The Smiley Group, Inc., is dedicated to supporting human rights and related empowerment issues and serves as the holding company for various enterprises encompassing broadcast and print media, lectures, symposiums, book publishing and the Internet.
Smiley’s achievements have earned him numerous awards and honorary doctorate degrees, including one from his alma mater, Indiana University. In 2009, Indiana University named the atrium of its School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) building “The Tavis Smiley Atrium.” Smiley is also the recipient of the prestigious Du Bois Medal from Harvard University and the 2009 Interdependence Day Prize from Demos in Istanbul, Turkey. TIME magazine honored Smiley in 2009 as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” This year, 2013, Tavis Smiley celebrates 10 years on PBS, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that Smiley will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014.