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Tavis Smiley makes stop at Loyola during his 10-city book tour

Loyola press release - March 2, 2009

Broadcaster and best-selling author Tavis Smiley will conduct a series of town hall meetings in conjunction with his 10-city tour in support of his new book, "ACCOUNTABLE: Making America As Good As Its Promise." Smiley will host one of those town hall meetings at Loyola University New Orleans on Saturday, March 7, from 12 – 2 p.m. in Monroe Hall’s Nunemaker Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, however registration is required. Call the Office of Co-Curricular Programs at 865-3622 to reserve your seats. Tickets can also be picked up in the Office of Co-Curricular Programs, located on the ground floor of the Danna Student Center.

Copies of Smiley’s book will be available for sale at the event, and following his presentation, Smiley will sign books.

Supported by facts, statistics and gripping real-life stories, "ACCOUNTABLE" examines hard-hitting truths about the issues our country faces while issuing a call to action to elected officials, community leaders, corporations and finally, American citizens themselves.

Smiley urges the public to become part of the change that must take place in America.

"Our mission is to provide citizens with the appropriate tools to assess the performance of our elected leaders and ourselves," writes Smiley. "‘ACCOUNTABLE’ is the yardstick for measuring whether our politicians, and our leaders, and ourselves have satisfied their respective duties in our democracy. Our purpose is clear and nonpartisan; We pull no punches."

"ACCOUNTABLE" revisits each of the 10 covenants discussed in Smiley’s previous book, "Covenant with Black America," and features "A Framework for Assessment" which outlines solutions offered to political leaders, policymakers, corporations, nonprofit organizations, community leaders and individual citizens to move toward effecting change.

"It is the job of politicians to make promises, but it is the job of the people who elect them to make sure they keep them," says Smiley. "Presidents alone do not shape our future. Congress and the courts can pass laws and hand down decisions that chip away at any president’s promises. Nonetheless, citizens must always be prepared to hold the president accountable on what he (perhaps one day, she!) promised to fight for. This tour provides a forum for how people will enforce that accountability for elected officials and for themselves."

The "ACCOUNTABLE" tour is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.

"We are excited to be a part of this program," says Corliss Hill, national director of UnitedHealthcare’s Generations of Wellness initiative. "UnitedHealthcare is a leader in providing patient-centered health care, and provides culturally relevant health solutions for African-Americans, something that dovetails perfectly with Mr. Smiley’s message about taking an active role in one’s own future."

Tavis Smiley is a nationally known intellectual, advocate, political commentator, entrepreneur and radio and television host. He founded the groundbreaking and historic State of the Black Union series. Smiley has authored several best-selling books, including "Covenant with Black America" and "The Covenant In Action." He is also the creator of America I Am: The African American Imprint Museum Exhibition.

Stephanie Robinson is the president and CEO of the Jamestown Project, a national think tank that focuses on democracy. She is a lecturer at Harvard Law School, and formerly served as chief counsel for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Robinson is a nationally recognized expert on issues related to social policy, family and electoral politics.

For more information about Smiley’s visit to Loyola University, please contact Meredith Hartley, director of public affairs, at 504-722-6078 or mhartley@loyno.edu. For more information regarding the "ACCOUNTABLE" tour, please contact Vanesse Lloyd Sgambati at 215-877-2012 or vlloydsgam@aol.com.