Wes Moore, a Rhodes Scholar, Army combat veteran and best-selling author of “The Other Wes Moore” and “The Work,” will speak in Fresno on Nov. 16 as part of the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall Lecture Series.
Moore is relatively unknown on the West Coast, but back east he is a dynamic figure who talks about the struggles of inner-city youths and how the community can play a big role in making life better for them, said Paul Smith, who is on the nonprofit’s board of directors. Moore’s books are required reading in many colleges and universities, Smith said.
“It’s an important conversation that we need to have in Fresno and across the nation,” said Smith, who with board member Dan Kimball were instrumental in bringing Moore to Fresno.
Moore, 38, is the founder and chief executive officer of BridgeEdU, an enterprise dedicated to helping freshmen in their first year of college. He has been an NBC news correspondent, hosted his own show on PBS and has been featured by USA Today, Time Magazine, People Magazine, “Meet the Press,” “The Colbert Report,” MSNBC and NPR.
It’s an important conversation that we need to have in Fresno and across the nation.
Board member Paul Smith
Moore’s first book, “The Other Wes Moore,” tells the tale of two kids with the same name living in the same decaying inner city of Baltimore. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, an Army captain who did a combat tour in Afghanistan, and a White House fellow under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The other Moore is serving a life sentence for killing a police officer during an armed robbery.
Smith said Moore will share his insights and stories of the people who refused to let him fall into crime and drugs. The event starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Saroyan Theatre, 700 M St. For ticket information ,go to the group’s web site.
For eight decades, the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall has brought nationally and internationally thought-provoking speakers to Fresno for the sole purposes of informing, educating and entertaining residents. One of its missions is to give high school and college students free access to lectures. More than 600 students have requested tickets for Moore’s lecture, Smith said. For the first time, the student section is sold out, he said.
Fresno students can relate to Moore’s story, Smith said, because his father died when he was young and he was raised by a single mother. As a child, he encountered academic troubles and got involved in petty crime. His mother worked hard, saved her money and enrolled him in military school, which changed his life. Moore graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Valley Forge Military College, a junior college in Pennsylvania, and from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and earned a master’s degree in international relations.
If the lecture is not a sellout, there will be a limited number of free individual tickets for students with valid student identification cards. Tickets can be picked up at the theater’s box office, said Susan Anderson, who is in charge of publicizing the event.
San Joaquin Valley Town Hall Lecture Series
Who: Wes Moore
When: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday
Where: Saroyan Theatre, 700 M St.