09/12/2012 07:47 am ET Updated Sep 26, 2012

'Poverty Tour 2.0': Tavis Smiley, Cornel West Hold Panels In Key Battleground States

Famed public radio hosts Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are taking their show on the road to help fight poverty nationwide.

U.S. poverty rates are slated to climb to devastating levels unseen since the 1960s, and the outspoken advocates are aiming to generate conversation and enact change. Smiley and West kick off their four-day “Poverty Tour 2.0: A Call to Conscience” on Wednesday in Cleveland with a panel co-sponsored by the Huffington Post.

The two will host six town hall events in the key battleground states. The determined duo hopes to use the tour to educate the public and to influence legislators to support programs that will alleviate poverty.

The radio hosts are also calling on some help from their activist friends, which include Peter Edelman, a former member of the Clinton Administration and co-founder of the Children’s Defense Fund and Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, to spread the word and help create change.

To follow "The Poverty Tour 2.0" or register to attend one of the events, click here.

Watch "The Poverty Tour 2.0" live from Cleveland Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, at 10 a.m. EST. Then, tune in to HuffPost Live for ongoing coverage and conversation.