Smiley to Deliver King Address

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: January 28, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Public broadcasting talk show host Tavis Smiley will be the keynote speaker for the University at Buffalo's 30th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Event, to be held at 8 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Mainstage theater in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. Lecture sponsor is the UB Minority Faculty and Staff Association.

Named by Time magazine as one of America's 50 most promising young leaders, Smiley can be seen nightly on PBS and heard weekly on Public Radio International, hosting "The Tavis Smiley Show." Both shows present a combination of news, issues and entertainment. In its first season on PBS, the show won the 2005 NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Television, News, Talk or Information (Series or Special)."

When Smiley began hosting the program on National Public Radio in 2002, it was the first nationally broadcast talk show centering on black issues. Smiley attracts high-profile guests, including Bill Cosby, Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Condoleezza Rice, Sens. John McCain and Ted Kennedy and Michael Eric Dyson. Over the course of his career, Smiley also has secured interviews with Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro and Pope John Paul II.

A well-known political commentator, Smiley is a regular guest himself on the nationally syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show" and has made appearances on "Politically Incorrect," ABC's "World News Tonight With Peter Jennings" and NBC's "Today Show."

He has authored several books, including "Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing and Hope from Black America" and "How to Make Black America Better: Leading African Americans Speak Out."

Tickets for the Smiley lecture are $16, $20 and $24; discounts are available to members of TIAA-CREF, UUP and the UB Alumni Association. Go to http://www.student-affairs.buffalo.edu/special/tickets.shtml for more information. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Center for the Arts box office.