Laser Talk: Invite Someone to Your Local Outreach Event

Use the April 29 Virtual Town Hall with Tavis Smiley to Invite People to Get Involved with RESULTS

The April 2014 Action focuses on getting more people involved in anti-poverty advocacy with RESULTS. To help in this effort, RESULTS is thrilled to announce that National Public Radio host and anti-poverty advocate Tavis Smiley will be holding a virtual town hall event with us on April 29! Mr. Smiley is currently the host of the late-night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS, as well as The Tavis Smiley Show and Smiley & West both from Public Radio International (PRI), and the daily radio program, Tavis Talks, on the Tavis Smiley Network (TSN). He is also the author of 16 books, including his latest The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto, co-authored with Dr. Cornell West of Princeton University.  Poverty is a frequent topic on his shows and in his writings. In 2011, he and Dr. West sponsored an 18-city Poverty Tour, designed to raise awareness of poverty in America. He is also founder of the Tavis Smiley Foundation, which works to provide leadership development for youth.

Mr. Smiley’s appearance at our April event is a great “draw” for people. You can invite people to attend the call and then use that as an opportunity to talk about RESULTS and invite them to get involved. Below is a sample conversation of a phone call inviting someone to the April Town Hall Event with Tavis Smiley.

Harry: Hello?

Bess: Hi Harry, it’s Bess.

Harry: Hi, Bess, how are you?

Bess: I’m great. I’m glad winter is finally leaving and I can get out and enjoy some nicer weather. How are you?

Harry: Doing fine. Been doing a little traveling, but I’m back home now for a while. So what’s up?

Bess: Well, I’m calling to invite you to an event I’m helping host in April. Do you have a few minutes for me to tell you about it?

Harry. Sure.

Bess: As you know, I volunteer here in Independence with RESULTS. We do grassroots advocacy on issues related to poverty in the U.S. I find it to be very rewarding work and pretty empowering. What I like about RESULTS is that they try to make telling Congress to make issues that are important to me — which can seem very intimidating — easy and fun. And they do. I believe you attended an event we organized a few years ago.

Harry: Yes, I remember that. You had a person  who received SNAP come speak.

Bess: That’s right. Great memory. Well, the event coming up is another one we’re excited about. Let me ask you, are you familiar with Tavis Smiley?

Harry: The name sounds familiar but I don’t know much about him.

Bess. Well, he’s a pretty outspoken media figure on the issue of poverty.  He hosts a TV show in PBS, radio shows on NPR and other networks, and has written 16 books. Poverty is a frequent topic on his shows and in his writings. In 2011, he so- sponsored an 18-city Poverty Tour, designed to raise awareness of poverty in America. There is no question that he considers this an important issue that gets too little (or the wrong) attention both in Washington and in the media.

Harry: Now I’m starting to remember. Why do you ask if I know about him?

Bess: Good question. The reason is that on April 29 RESULTS is hosting a national conference call with Tavis Smiley. He’ll talk to us his work on raising awareness about poverty in America and the importance of folks like you and me pushing our elected leaders to address poverty. Our RESULTS group in Independence is meeting to listen in on the call. Because I know you care about these issues as well, I think you’d find the call very interesting.

Harry: Maybe so. Is the conference call all you’re doing?

Bess: Good question. No. The call will be the focal point of the meeting but we’re also going to share information about RESULTS and the activities of our local group. Our goal is to get more people involved in this work, either by joining our local group for our regular monthly meetings or to be someone who is willing to write a letter, send an e-mail, or make phones call to Congress when key pieces of legislation are being debated. I think you made a few calls for us last year when SNAP was being threatened.

Harry: That’s right, I did. But I don’t know how much difference it made.

Bess: You bet it did. While Congress did enact some cuts to SNAP, they were nowhere near the level of cuts it was proposing. Millions of people were threatened with losing vital food assistance but because you and others around the country took action, those people will still being able to put food on the table. That’s the power you have to make a difference. That’s why we are holding this event with Mr. Smiley. To remind people how important their voices are in the democratic process and hopefully inspire them to get involved.

Harry: It sounds interesting. When is the meeting?

Bess: It’s on Tuesday, April 29 from _______ to _______. The first part will be a brief overview of RESULTS and our local group, followed by the town hall event from _____ to ______. After the call, we’ll answer any questions people have and invite people who are interested to get involved. I think you’ll really enjoy it. May I count you as attending, Harry?

Harry: Sure. Thursdays are sometimes busy but this sounds interesting so I’ll put it in my calendar. I can’t guarantee that I’ll join the group but I am interested in hearing what Tavis Smiley says.

Bess: Thank you, Harry. I am so glad you’ll come. We’re meeting at the home of one of our volunteers, Margaret Daniel. She lives at 219 N. Delaware Street in Independence. I’ll send you an e-mail this week with all the details and then give you a quick reminder call a few days before the meeting. Will that work?

Harry: Yes, that’s great. Please do send me an e-mail; that will remind me to confirm it in my calendar.

Bess: You bet, Harry. Before I go, let me ask you this. Do you know anyone who might be interested in coming? If so, please feel free to invite them. All are welcomed. The more, the merrier. We only ask that they RSVP so we know how much food to prepare. They can RSVP to me at www.tinyurl.com/TavisSmileyEvent. I’ll include that in the e-mail I send to you.

Harry: Thanks, Bess. I can think of one or two people who might like this. I’ll talk to them and if they’re interested, have them get in touch with you.

Bess: That’s great, Harry. I appreciate it. Have a great day and I’ll talk to you soon.