Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Jim Hanchett
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Jen Schmits Thomas

Mandy Clarke
IU Press

Last modified: Thursday, January 10, 2013

SPEA alumnus Tavis Smiley, Dean Graham to participate in discussion on poverty

Panelists to examine recession's effect on Indiana's poor and offer possible solutions

Jan. 10, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- National talk show host and SPEA alumnus Tavis Smiley will be in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Jan. 15, to join the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and its dean, John D. Graham, for a panel discussion on poverty.

The event anticipates the release this month of "America's Poor and the Great Recession," written by Graham and former SPEA faculty member Kristin Seefeldt and published by IU Press. In the book, which will be available Jan. 29, the authors conclude that the well-being of low-income Americans, particularly the working poor, the near poor and the newly poor, is at substantial risk despite economic recovery.

The public is invited to the Jan. 15 event, at which panelists will discuss the effects of poverty in Indiana and offer possible solutions. It begins at 12:15 p.m. in the offices of the Lumina Foundation, 30 S. Meridian St. RSVP by calling 317-278-9670 or emailing

In addition to Smiley and Graham, panelists will include James Taylor, CEO of the John H. Boner Community Center in Indianapolis; and Andy Fraizer, executive director of the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development. Marion County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ayers will moderate.

Related events include:

  • A nationally televised discussion Jan. 17 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on the topic "Vision for a New America: A Future Without Poverty." Smiley will moderate, and panelists will include Graham, scholar-activist Cornel West and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. It will be broadcast live on C-SPAN.
  • An Indianapolis lecture Jan. 18 by Smiley and West at Butler University's Clowes Memorial Hall. The 7:30 p.m. event is free and open to the public without tickets. It coincides with the publication of "The Rich and the Rest of Us," a book by Smiley and West that advocates a new socioeconomic system based on a foundation of fundamental fairness.

Author information for "America's Poor and the Great Recession":

John D. Graham is dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and author of "Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks." From 2001 to 2006, he served as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, White House Office of Management and Budget.

Kristin S. Seefeldt is assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan and author of "Working After Welfare: How Women Balance Jobs and Family in the Wake of Welfare Reform and Welfare Reform." She is a former faculty member at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Tavis Smiley hosts the television talk show "Tavis Smiley" on PBS. He also hosts "The Tavis Smiley Show" and co-hosts "Smiley and West," both distributed by Public Radio International. He has authored or edited 16 books, including a book "Covenant With Black America," which reached No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list. In 2009, Smiley was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.