“The younger you are, the more likely you are to be in poverty” – @TavisSmiley


At 8:30am On Monday, January 9, 2012, history was made. Not the “front page news” kind of history but the “time to place the recruit our army” kind of history. A tipping point, so to speak.

At this time and on this date, I, along with bloggers from @HuffingtonPost, @HopeScholarship, @TheFabEmpire and more joined Tavis Smiley on a Blogger Conference Call to discuss Tavis’ Remaking America event that will occur on January 12, 2012. (Join the conversation on Twitter: #RemakingAmerica)

Follow my blog this week as I support, promote and synthesize the Remaking America event. You’ll get a recap of the event and hear my perspective of the call to action that Gen Y Leaders must follow in order to help prevent poverty in America. The title “Poverty is the Absence of Leadership” refers to my fear for Gen Y. Without strong leadership, social awareness and fiscal responsibility I believe we may be headed into deep levels of poverty. I tell friends all the time that it’s highly possible that in your adult lifetime, you will be taking care of three generations: your parents, yourself and your spouse and your children. It’s time for Gen Y to answer the call on leadership and I look forward to seeing just what that will lead to.


Here’s a quick overview of the event:

Remaking America

Record unemployment, corporate avarice, empty houses but homeless families, dwindling opportunities in a politically paralyzed nation—these are the realities of America, land of the free and home of the perennially poor and the new poor — the former middle class.

This January, broadcaster Tavis Smiley will convene a panel of thought leaders and advocates to explore how to restore prosperity in America.The event, sponsored by WK Kellogg Foundation and the AARP Foundation is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5 p.m. and advance registration is required atwww.tavistalks.com/remakingamerica

During the LIVE broadcast on C-SPAN, panelists will discuss solutions for restoring America’s prosperity. Additionally, the participants will discuss a forthcoming White Paper from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), to be released earlier in January, which reveals the “new poor” and how the face of poverty in America has changed. 

The conversation will be moderated by Tavis Smiley and the panelists include: Cornel West, Princeton University professor and author; Suze Orman, America’s leading authority on personal finance; Michael Moore, Academy Award®-winning filmmaker; Barbara Ehrenriech, prolific author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in AmericaMajora Carter, Urban Revitalization Strategist; and Vicki B. Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America. Additional panelists to be announced.

The conversation will rebroadcast for three nights on Tavis Smiley on PBS beginning Monday, January 16 through Wednesday, January 18 and will continue during The Tavis Smiley Show and Smiley & West both distributed from Public Radio International (PRI).