PBS Broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Princeton professor Cornel West, co-hosts of the Smiley & West on Public Radio International (PRI) radio program, are leading an 11-state bus tour August 6-12 to highlight the problems of the poor. AARP Foundation is one of the tour sponsors.
"We are taking into America's communities," Smiley said. "We want those people who are struggling in this current economy to know that they are not alone and not forgotten."
Beginning with a gathering on the Lac Coutre Oreilles Indian Reservation near Hayward, WI, the tour includes town hall meetings in Chicago, Detroit and Memphis and a stop in Washington, D.C. Smiley and West will meet America's unemployed, victims of bank foreclosures, senior citizens, students, homeless veterans, educators and young families struggling to survive.
They will also meet with organizers, activists, social entrepreneurs and others who are using creative solutions to address America's biggest challenges: jobs, food, energy, housing, health care and education.
For AARP Foundation, the poverty tour is a terrific opportunity to bring attention to the issues of poverty among seniors with the goal of realizing our vision: A country free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable.
Many of the stories gathered from this tour will be heard weekly on the radio program, and be featured on on PBS. You can also download a daily podcast of the tour at www.smileyandwest.com.