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Science Matters

Tavis Smiley (moderator)

Host, Tavis Smiley on PBS and The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI

From his celebrated conversations with world figures, to his work to inspire the next generation of leaders, as a broadcaster, author, advocate and philanthropist, Tavis Smiley continues to be an outstanding voice for change. 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 2007, Smiley made television history as the moderator and executive producer of the All-American Presidential Forums on PBS, the first Democratic and Republican presidential debates broadcast live in primetime with a panel exclusively comprised of journalists of color.

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 bestseller and the book he edited, The Covenant with Black America , became the first non-fiction book by a Black owned publisher to reach #1 on the New York Times’ bestsellers list.

His latest book, Accountable: Making America as Good as Its Promise , examines hard-hitting truths about the issues our country faces, and addresses how our political leaders, corporations and finally, American citizens themselves can enforce accountability and effect change.

TIME Magazine honored Smiley in 2009 as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” The annual TIME 100 list profiles men and women whose power, talent or moral example has made a significant difference in the world.

In 2009, Smiley released STAND , his first documentary film, which he directed, wrote and produced. STAND shares the experiences of Smiley and ten Black male friends during a special road trip through Memphis and Nashville. The friends explore the impact of the civil rights movement and the role and relationships of Black men in America against the backdrop of the 2008 presidential race, and the 40th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

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, will tour 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 Tavis Smiley Foundation, a nonprofit organization, 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 and the Internet.

Smiley's achievements have earned him numerous awards and honorary doctorate degrees including one from his alma mater, Indiana University, the Du Bois Medal from Harvard University, and the 2009 Interdependence Day Prize from Demos, in Istanbul, Turkey.

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