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Smiley to be speaker at MLK event


Tavis Smiley, an author, lecturer, political commentator and the host of the "BET Tonight" show on Black Entertainment Television for five years, will be the keynote speaker at MIT's 28th annual celebratory breakfast to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The theme for the celebration is "From Dreams to Reality: The Illusion of Full Inclusion." The breakfast is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, in Morss Hall at Walker Memorial.

At the breakfast, the annual MLK Leadership Awards for service to the community will be presented to a faculty member or administrator, an alumnus or alumna, and a student or student group. President Charles M. Vest invites members of the community to submit nominations to the MLK Special Celebration Committee by Jan. 4. They may be sent to Professor Larry Anderson in Room W32-133,, or Dean Arnold Henderson Jr. in Room 5-104,

Vest, Provost Robert A. Brown and Chancellor Phillip L. Clay will also speak at the breakfast.������

Smiley is the author of five books including "How to Make Black America Better," published last January. He writes the Smiley Report newsletter and appears regularly on the Tom Joyner Morning Show on the ABC radio network. He left "BET Tonight" last March. He is a correspondent or frequent contributor to ABC's "Prime Time Thursday," "Good Morning America," CNN and National Public Radio. Smiley has interviewed former President William J. Clinton, Pope John Paul II and Fidel Castro. He was an aide to former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.

Smiley, who attended the University of Indiana, has also appeared on C-SPAN, "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," the "Today" show and "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings." He was profiled on "60 Minutes."

Smiley is the founder of the Tavis Smiley Foundation, a nonprofit organization which aims to encourage, empower and enlighten black youth. He also created The Smiley Group, Inc., which organizes symposia, seminars, forums and town hall meetings around the country.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 19, 2001.

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