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Wes Moore, global businessman, author to speak at ‘Facing History’ benefit

To say that 33-year-old Wes Moore is a high achiever is somewhat of an understatement. Here’s a guy who grew up in an at-risk Baltimore neighborhood and chose a path that saved his life. Special to the Tri-State Defender

To say that 33-year-old Wes Moore is a high achiever is somewhat of an understatement. Here’s a guy who grew up in an at-risk Baltimore neighborhood and chose a path that saved his life.

 
 Wes Moore

Next Thursday (Nov. 3), Moore, who focuses on global technology and alternative investments as a successful businessman with Citigroup in New York City, will be in Memphis. He will serve as keynote speaker at the 15th Annual Facing History and Ourselves Benefit Dinner at The Peabody Hotel.

The Facing History and Ourselves reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. Co-chairs of this year’s event are Rose and Richard Flenorl and Michael and Andie Uiberall.

Since the Memphis office opened in 1992, Facing History and Ourselves has provided professional development and resources for 2,500 area teachers. Moore’s life story is teaching material.

After failing in school, Moore was sent to a military academy where he graduated as Regimental Commander and class president. He graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Valley Forge Military College (1998) and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University (2001). As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed a Masters of Letters in International Relations (2004) from the University of Oxford.

A paratrooper and Captain in the U.S. Army, Moore served a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan. And as a White House Fellow (2006-07), Moore served as a special assistant to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. His numerous awards include Ebony magazine’s “Top 30 Leaders Under 30” and Crain’s New York Business’ “40 Under 40 Rising Stars.”

Through it all, Moore hasn’t forgotten his roots. Through his New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling book, “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates,” and youth advocacy programs, he’s committed to helping young people redirect their lives.

In 2000, as Moore was preparing to attend Oxford University, he learned of another young man named Wes Moore who was only a couple years older, lived in the same neighborhood, and was heading to prison for life for the murder of a Baltimore police officer. He wrote to the other Wes Moore and was surprised when he received a letter back.

Through prison visits and conversations with his family and friends, Moore discovered parallels between their lives. The conversations resulted in his extremely popular book.

“I remember there was actually a scene in the book where Wes and I were talking. And I asked him, ‘Do you think that we’re products of our environment,’” recalled the author. “We were talking about Baltimore. He said, ‘You know, I think we’re products of our expectations.’

“We are a nation of self-fulfilling prophecies,” said Moore, “so what we envision, and how we’re willing to work at it, can really make a difference as to where we end up.”

Today, the two Wes Moores remain close friends.

(For more information about the Facing History and Ourselves Benefit Dinner, contact Sonji Branch at 452-1776, ext. 223 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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