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‘Inspiring your greatness’

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Since its first launch five years ago, the “Derwin Smiley Show” has been dedicated to “inspiring the greatness” of people in the community.

However, since the start of the new year, Smiley’s program has celebrated a new way to reach its growing family of viewers. The show recently made its debut on WHMB-TV, which airs on local station Channel 16, Comcast Channel 9, Bright House Channel 22, Dish Network Channel 8457, and AT&T U-verse Channel 40.

“WHMB is a huge step for us,” said host Derwin Smiley. “We will now be going to 1.8 million homes and reaching 2.8 million individuals. It’s just amazing, too, to see how much we’ve progressed and being able to reach more people.”

Currently, the show is being shown one Tuesday a month, and a new episode will be aired this month. Viewers who miss any show can see archived episodes on www.thederwinsmleyshow.com.

Recent guests have included Mark Miles and Tony Mason of Indianapolis’ 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee, who discussed the event’s potential impact on the community, and Shawn Hawkins, the new diversity officer of Eli Lilly and Co., who offered helpful suggestions on how diversity can benefit businesses.

Upcoming shows will include a March 22 highlight of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s Centennial Celebration, and an April 19 appearance by Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White, who will talk about the status of the state’s largest school district.

A Kokomo, Ind., native, who is the younger brother of syndicated television journalist Tavis Smiley, Derwin Smiley has became well-known for hosting various community events, including the Love Wins crime prevention seminar, the Ball State University Black Issues Conference, the University of Indianapolis I Am Hip-Hop Summit and the HOPE Team Annual City-Wide Youth Summit at Martin University.

The Derwin Smiley Show began in 2005 as a 30-minute television program designed to empower youth and young adults ages 13-34.

Shown on the Educational Channel for 13-week seasons, the first version of the Derwin Smiley Show gained popularity due to its emphasis on encouraging youth to strive for achievement in every endeavor. It was filmed, produced, edited and directed by youth in partnership with Indiana Black Expo’s Youth Video Institute.

“While being a school teacher in the Indianapolis Public Schools system, I really saw how students were influenced by negative videos and television shows,” Smiley said. “We all want our kids to become productive citizens, so the show reminded children they have to take control of their lives and think about things like college and their future.”

After a brief hiatus from television, the Derwin Smiley Show appeared exclusively on the Internet before gaining the opportunity to appear on WHMB-TV.

Although still devoted to the needs and concerns of youth, Smiley said his show tries to help people of all ages, cultures and professional groups reach success.

“We would like our viewers to apply the tools that are presented to them, so they can really think about what they do when they make choices,” said Smiley. “Everything revolves around the choices we make. We all will have downfalls, but the bottom line is when you do make a bad choice, you learn from it, evaluate yourself and move forward.”

The Derwin Smiley Show has also landed major corporate sponsors, such as Mays Chemical Co., Eli Lilly and Co., the National Collegiate Athletic Association and AT&T.

“We have really been able to move forward,” Smiley said. “We’re just trying to do some great things and give people information that will help them to make the right choices today for a brighter tomorrow.”

Check it out

What: The Derwin Smiley Show

Where: WHMB-TV (Digital Channel 16, Comcast Channel 9, Bright House Channel 22, Dish Network Channel 8457, and AT&T U-verse Channel 40)

When: Monthly at 11 p.m.; the next new episode will be March 22.

For a complete listing and to see previous episodes, visit www.thederwinsmileyshow.com.

About Derwin Smiley

Background: Born in Kokomo, Ind.; educator and motivational speaker; brother of talk show host Tavis Smiley

Family: Wife, Leah, and five children, including three daughters and two sons ranging in age 1-13.

Life changing achievement: Distributed more than 10,000 holiday gifts to less fortunate families in partnership with the YMCA, the Marines and Toys for Tots.

Activities: Time with family, mentoring and reading. Favorite books include The Student Athlete Playbook and The Golden Scrolls.

Slogan: “Serious times calls for serious conversations.”

See Derwin live

Sunday, March 13 at 4:30 p.m. – Speaker, New Day Pentecostal Church.

Friday, March 18 at 9 a.m. – Project Impact event at Arlington High School, 1214 Arlington Ave.

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