Life in an American Tent City


You can’t give Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West exclusive credit for bringing the conversation about poverty to the forefront of the American public’s socio-political dialogue; however, you can definitely give them credit for pumping up the volume on the conversation.

In August, Tavis and Dr. West – co-hosts of the syndicated radio show on PRI that bears their names – embarked on a 6-day, 11-state, 18-city tour to highlight the plight of the poor in America. Assisting them was a taskforce of Tavis’ colleagues that helped to broadcast, document and display the stories of real folks, of varying backgrounds and upbringings, who are facing real financial and emotional hardships during these precarious economic times.

As managing partner of High Quality Speakers Bureau, I was able to play a part by coordinating three town hall meetings in Chicago, Detroit and Memphis, where locals came to air their grievances about, as well as identify solutions to, the failed federal policies and skewed partisan priorities that have helped to exacerbate the situation.

Brandon A. Lucas, viral marketing manager for The Smiley Group, Inc., was on the tour and captured a wealth of post-able, tweet-able and upload-able content to help generate greater awareness about the deplorable conditions so that those who may be listening, reading or watching might lift their voices to be heard in the chorus. In the below clip provided by Lucas, Tavis and Dr. West visit Camp Take Notice, a tent city for some 40-50 homeless persons located just outside Ann Arbor, MI.

Jeremy Berry is the Managing Partner of High Quality Speakers Bureau, a subsidiary of The Smiley Group, Inc.

Last modified: October 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm