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Tavis Smiley to give public lecture at African American Male Congress 10th Anniversary Convocation Sept. 26
Tavis Smiley to give public lecture at African American Male Congress 10th Anniversary Convocation Sept. 26September 10, 2008Cameron Etheredgecjethere@syr.edu
The African American Male Congress (AAMC) will culminate the yearlong celebration of its 10th anniversary on Friday, Sept. 26, with a keynote address from broadcaster, author, advocate and philanthropist Tavis Smiley. The event will take place at 6 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.
Paid event parking will be available at the the Irving Garage. Free tickets are required and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting Friday, Sept. 12, at the Schine Box Office, with a limit of four tickets per person.
Following his address, Smiley will receive an honorary membership, joining Barry L. Wells, former senior vice president and dean of student affairs at SU; Francis McMillan Parks, former director of Students Offering Service (SOS) and African American Programs at Hendricks Chapel; Michael Eric Dyson, University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University; Henry Louis Gates, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University; Cornel West, Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University; Al Sharpton, political activist and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004; and Jesse Jackson, civil rights leader and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988.
“The core of Tavis’ consistent message has been accountability and transformation,” says Larry P. Thomas, AAMC founder and president of the AAMC Alumni Society. “Over the last decade, the AAMC has transcended and transformed the stereotypes associated with African American males. We represent scholarship, productivity and success. Our hope is that Tavis’ address will inspire Syracuse University to invest more in its high-achieving, African American male students, so that they can continue to thrive, overcome obstacles and return to their communities as better men.”
The AAMC’s 10th Anniversary Convocation is sponsored by the Division of Institutional Advancement, the Division of Student Affairs, the AAMC Alumni Society, the Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) and the Student Fee. The convocation is held annually and officially commences the AAMC’s Talented Tenth Leadership Institute, a semester-long personal and development training for aspiring members.
“Our Talented Tenth Leadership Institute provides information and training that, in most respects, levels the playing field for us on campus and then in the professional world,” says Tari Wariebi, AAMC president. “Like we say in the Congress, we can and will do better only so long as we continue to learn, to strive toward greatness and to give back. Tavis has done that, and I look forward to personally thanking him for serving as an inspiration.”
Smiley started his career in 1991 as a radio commentator for a Los Angeles radio station, broadcasting minute-long radio segments on “The Smiley Report.” In 1996, he became the resident social and political commentator on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” and continued to hold the position for the next 12 years. During this time, Smiley developed a friendship with Joyner and in 2000 the two began hosting annual town hall meetings called “The State of the Black Union,” which were aired live on C-SPAN. These meetings focused on specific problems that were affecting the African American community. African American leaders, educators and professionals assembled before an audience to discuss these problems and propose potential solutions. Smiley has since built a national reputation as a leader in political commentary, with numerous appearances on political discussion shows on CNN, MSNBC and ABC.
Smiley currently hosts his own late night television talk show, “Tavis Smiley,” on PBS and “The Tavis Smiley Show,” distributed by Public Radio International, thus making Smiley the first American to simultaneously host his own talk shows on both public television and public radio. In addition to his radio and television work, he has written 11 books, including his memoir, “What I Know For Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America” (Doubleday, 2006), which was a New York Times best seller, and a book he edited, “Covenant with Black America” (Third World Press, 2007), which became the first nonfiction book by a black-owned publisher to reach #1 on The New York Times Best Seller List.
The AAMC was founded in 1998 with the vision of becoming the premier organization for high-achieving, African American male undergraduates of Syracuse University. The mission of this honor society is to stimulate intellectual growth, to engage members in personal and professional development, and to cultivate a diverse network of domestic and global partners. AAMC members actualize this mission by 1) encouraging, supporting and celebrating the scholastic, personal and professional achievements of its members and alumni; 2) promoting and fostering the cognitive, cultural, social and emotional development of African American male undergraduates; and 3) cultivating strategic, interdependent alliances with campus, city, state, domestic and international leaders.
For more information, contact Cameron Etheredge, AAMC director of public relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.