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Poverty in America


Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West have produced a five-episode documentary that brings the poverty crisis home to every American



The documentary grew out of an 11-state tour Smiley, the nationally known PBS talk-show host, and West, a professor at Princeton, conducted over the summer.

NEA is a sponsor of both the tour and the follow-on PBS documentary.

Each episode begins with taped reports about people in poverty and then segues to round-table discussions with antipoverty advocates like Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary; Jeffrey D. Sachs, the economist; and Vicki B. Escarra, the president and chief executive of the hunger-relief group Feeding America.

The episode that deals specifically with public schools and their potential impact on solving the poverty crisis was taped at Maryland’s Prince Georges County Community College.

NEA’s own camera crew was on hand and captured the full presentation and turned it into a stand-alone video segment:

NEA also captured a more in-depth conversation Mr. Smiley conducted with two of the participants in the larger program:


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