Smiley & West


 Sundays 3:00 - 4:00 pm

"Smiley & West" is an energetic fusion of thought provoking, intelligent and stimulating dialogue on every subject from news and politics to entertainment and culture. The one-hour weekly show attracts a broad spectrum of compelling guests and asks questions that solicits newsworthy discussions. Each week, "Smiley & West" engage in deep dialogue in the "Hot Stuff" segment where the duo dissects the hottest news topics. The most engaging portion of the show encourages audience interaction in the "Take 'Em to Task" segment when a caller debates Smiley & West on a political or social issue. In the last segment, "Smiley & West" has provocative discussions with A-list newsmakers, celebrities, great thinkers and doers of our time.

Tavis Smiley, Co-Host

From his celebrated conversations with world figures to his work to inspire the next generation of leaders; as a broadcaster, author, publisher, advocate, and philanthropist, Tavis Smiley continues to be an outstanding voice for change. Smiley is currently the host of the late-night television talk show Tavis Smileyon PBS and The Tavis Smiley Show from Public Radio International (PRI). Alongside his abiding friend, Dr. Cornel West, Smiley is also co-host of the intellectually energetic radio program Smiley and West, also from PRI.

In 2010, Smiley left his studio chair in Los Angeles to go on the road with his TAVIS SMILEY REPORTS primetime specials on PBS, which examined some of the country’s most defining moments. The reports included: going behind the scenes with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; examining one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s greatest speeches, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”; traveling to the streets of New Orleans to mark Hurricane Katrina’s fifth anniversary; and a profile of renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

In 2007, Smiley made television history as the moderator and executive producer of the All-American Presidential Forums on PBS, the first primetime television Democratic and Republican presidential debates with panels exclusively comprised of journalists of color.

In addition to his radio and television work, Smiley has authored 14 books. His memoir, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, became a New York Times best seller, and the book he edited, Covenant with Black America, became the first nonfiction book by a Black-owned publisher to reach #1 on The New York Times’ best-sellers list.

His best-selling text, Accountable: Making America As Good As Its Promise, examines hard-hitting truths about the issues our country faces and addresses how our political leaders, corporations, and, finally, American citizens themselves can enforce accountability and effect change.

His forthcoming book, FAIL UP: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure, will be released May 1, 2011. In FAIL UP, Smiley steps from behind the curtain of success to Readers will find a kinship in Smiley’s humanness that inspires, informs, and reminds us of our inherent ability to achieve and grow in spite of life’s inevitable setbacks.

An avid reader and committed to presenting America with stories from many different voices, he  founded SmileyBooks as a co-publishing venture with Hay House, Inc. From established New York Times best-selling authors to exciting new voices, SmileyBooks covers topics that appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. SmileyBooks titles are published in hardcover, trade paperback, and digital media, offering the widest possible readership and exposure.

TIME magazine honored Smiley in 2009 as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” The annual list profiles men and women whose power, talent, or moral example has made a significant difference in the world.

In 2009, Smiley released STAND, his first documentary film, which he directed, wrote, and produced. STAND shares the experiences of Smiley and 10 Black male friends during a special road trip through Memphis and Nashville. The friends explore the impact of the civil rights movement and the role and relationships of Black men in America against the backdrop of the 2008 presidential race and the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.

Smiley is the presenter and creative force behind America I AM: The African American Imprint. This unprecedented four-year national traveling museum exhibition, which debuted in January 2009, celebrates the extraordinary impact of African American contributions to our nation and the world, as told through rare artifacts, memorabilia, and multimedia

Smiley’s most gratifying accomplishments are rooted in his passion to inspire the next generation of leaders. The nonprofit Tavis Smiley Foundation was established to provide leadership training and development for youth. Since its inception, more than 6,000 young people have participated in the foundation’s Youth to Leaders training workshops and conferences.

His communications company, The Smiley Group, Inc., is dedicated to supporting human rights and related empowerment issues and serves as the holding company for various enterprises encompassing broadcast and print media, lectures, symposia, and the Internet.

Smiley’s achievements have earned him numerous awards and honorary doctorate degrees, including one from his alma mater, Indiana University. In 2009, the university also named the atrium of its School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) building “The Tavis Smiley Atrium.” In addition, he is the recipient of the prestigious Du Bois Medal from Harvard University and the 2009 Interdependence Day Prize from Demos in Istanbul, Turkey.

In 2011, Smiley celebrates his 20th year in broadcasting and continues to inspire, educate, and inform, in love and service. 


Cornel West, Co-Host

Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. The Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in three years and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris.

Dr. West has written 19 books and edited 13. He is best known for his classic Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his new memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. He appears frequently on Real Time with Bill Maher, The Colbert Report, CNN and C-SPAN.

West made his film debut in The Matrix and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004. He has also appeared in over 25 documentaries and films, including Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk and Stand.

He has recorded three spoken word albums, including "Never Forget", collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and the late Gerald Levert. His recent spoken word interludes were featured on Terence Blanchard's "Choices" (which won the Grand Prix in France for 2009's best jazz album), The Cornel West Theory's "Second Rome" and Raheem DeVaughn's "Love & War: MasterPeace".

In short, Dr. West's passion to communicate in a variety of public spheres keeps alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. - a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.