Wednesday, October 16, 2013
UMKC Pierson Auditorium
Atterbury Student Success Center
5100 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO
Wes Moore was born in 1978 and was three years old when his father, a respected radio and television host, died in front of him. His mother, hoping for a better future for her family, made great sacrifices to send Moore and his sisters to private school. Caught between two worlds, the affluence of his classmates and the struggles of his neighbors, Moore began to act out, succumbing to bad grades, suspensions, and delinquencies. Desperate to reverse his behavior, his mother sent him to military school in Pennsylvania. After trying to escape five times, Moore finally decided to stop railing against the system and become accountable for his actions. By graduation six years later, Moore was company commander overseeing 125 cadets.
On December 11, 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran an article about how Moore, despite his troubled childhood, had just received The Rhodes Scholarship. At the same time, the Sun was running stories eventually more than 100 in all about four African-American men who were arrested for the murder of an off-duty Baltimore police officer during an armed robbery. One of the men convicted was just two years older than Moore, lived in the same neighborhood, and in an uncanny turn, was also named Wes Moore. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates documents these two men's lives and raises powerful questions about accountability, chance, fate and family.
Seeking to help other young people to redirect their lives, Moore is committed to being a positive influence and helping kids find the support they need to enact change. Pointing out that a high school student drops out every nine seconds, Moore says that public servants the teachers, mentors and volunteers who work with our youth are as imperative to our national standing and survival as are our armed forces. "Public service does not have to be an occupation," he says, "but it must be a way of life."