Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police.
How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence?
This fall, new students beginning their college careers at Austin Peay State University will explore that question and themes associated with The New York Times best-seller “The Other Wes Moore.” In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, “The Other Wes Moore” tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.
This book was selected for APSU’s annual reading initiative called The Peay Read. One of the highlights of this year’s program will be a special presentation from the author, Wes Moore. He will speak at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27 in the Dunn Center at APSU. The talk is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow his talk.
The Peay Read is designed to provide a unifying experience and contribute to the academic experiences for freshmen students. However, the reading program also offers opportunities for the entire campus community.
Moore’s appearance on Sept. 27 will be the highlight of The Peay Read festivities that will include a number of other activities:
Sept. 17: Dr. Brian Johnson, assistant vice president of academic affairs, will kick off The Peay Read at 7 p.m. in Clement Auditorium.
Sept. 18: A book discussion will begin at 11 a.m. in the Morgan University Center, Room 306.
Sept. 20: A second book discussion will take place at 4 p.m. in the Morgan University Center, Room 306.
Sept. 24: A panel discussion, titled “Veterans and Attaining Your Degree,” will be held at 4 p.m., in the Morgan University Center, Room 312.
Sept. 27: Before his talk, there will be a meet and greet with Wes Moore at 3 p.m. in the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center.
In addition to the book and panel discussions, other Peay Read student activities and memorabilia include the following:
-- T-shirts with “The Other Wes Moore” printed on them and given to freshmen students enrolled in the APSU 1000 First-Year Experience program, which is including the book in its classroom discussions.
-- Bookmarks with book quotations, which will be used in student discussion groups focused on those quotations.
-- Faculty-student class discussions.
-- Student book reviews, with authors of the best 10 essays invited to a dinner with Moore.
A mobile app detailing all events and activities associated with The Peay Read has been developed and can be downloaded via Apple’s iTunes.
For more details about this year’s book reading selection or The Peay Read, visit http://www.apsu.edu/Read/ or visit Peay Read on Facebook.
For more information about Moore’s upcoming talk, contact Dr. Dixie Dennis, chair of The Peay Read committee at APSU, by telephone at 931-221-7415 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Dr. Melony Shemberger