Author of Counting Descent

A conversation about Racial Justice

Thank you for joining us for our 10th Annual Justice Forum on Thursday, October 1st. That evening, we were motivated, humbled and energized by Clint Smith. The power of his words resonated even in the virtual space and moved us as a community to act, advocate and inspire to create a more equitable world.

“Poverty is a choice that this country makes every single day. We do not have to have millions of people living in poverty and yet we do. Our politicians make choices every day that exacerbate the harmful, difficult economic conditions that people live in. It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s plenty of money and we could make a different set of choices.” 
Clint Smith, from Pisgah Legal’s Justice Forum.

click here to read JUSTICE FORUM PROGRAM

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About the Speaker

Clint Smith uses his experience as an award-winning teacher and poet to share personal stories of justice, community, and education. He illuminates how we can all find the courage to create change, overcome challenges, and unite ourselves through the power of the collective voice.

His two TED Talks, The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Black Son in America have been viewed more than seven million times. He was named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list as well as Ebony Magazine’s 2017 Power 100 list.

Smith is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, an Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, a Cave Canem Fellow, a Callaloo Fellow, and has served as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.

His first full-length collection of poetry, Counting Descent, won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. His other writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Guardian, Boston Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Educational Review, and he has just joined The Atlantic as a staff writer.

Smith earned his Ph.D. in Education at Harvard University, a B.A. in English from Davidson College and is an alumnus of the New Orleans Public School System.

Stay Connected with Clint

  • Stay up to date on his performances, articles and poetry on his website and sign up for his newsletter.


Thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors who made the evening possible!

Your support, and the support of our sponsors allows Pisgah Legal to provide long-term legal solutions for the immediate needs of our WNC neighbors.

Champions for Justice

Partners for Justice



Amplified Media
Blackbird Frame & Art
Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community
MediationWorks NC
Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty
TD Bank


McAngus, Goudelock & Courie
UNC Asheville


Applied Solutions Group
Earth Equity Advisors
First Congregational Church of Christ of Hendersonville
North Carolina AIDS Action Network
Webb Investment Services