January 19, 2016

Author, activist Moore to speak

Wes Moore

Wes Moore

Author Wes Moore knows that being a leader – both in your personal life and in the business world – comes down to personal responsibility.

Drawing on his experiences as a leader in the public and private sectors and in the military, Moore often explains that embracing your own personal responsibility and holding yourself accountable for your choices is a quality that allows transformational leaders to create a vision, then inspire and empower those around them to execute it.

Moore will speak at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., in the third of four lectures in the 2015-16 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues. This year, the forum is delving into the origins of activists and the characteristics of effective social and political movements, narrated with candor by men and women who have inspired generations.

In 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small story about Moore, at the time a local student who had just received a Rhodes Scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about four young men who had allegedly killed a police officer in an armed robbery. The police were still looking for two of the suspects, one of whom was named Wes Moore.

Moore couldn’t shake the unsettling coincidence or the feeling that the two shared much more than space in the newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes Moore, by then a convicted murderer serving a life sentence. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen? With stories of heart-wrenching losses and moments of surprising redemption, Moore describes a generation of boys trying to find their way in a challenging and at times hostile world.

T.J. McDowell, assistant dean of students at Nebraska Wesleyan University, will conduct a pre-talk at 6:30 p.m. in the Lied’s Steinhart Room.

“Wes Moore’s life story is a call to action,” McDowell said. “What was the difference between him becoming a Rhodes Scholar and the other Wes Moore being sentenced to life in prison? Choices. Moore’s story challenges us to do more to ensure that all young people are given the support they need to make positive choices and live up to their full potential.”

Moore is a veteran and the founder of BridgeEDU. His most recent book, “The Work,” is a New York Times bestselling collection of lessons about what it means to create lives that matter, heralded as a model for how to weave valuable lessons together from supremely different people to forge individual paths to triumph.

He has been featured by USA Today, Time Magazine, People Magazine, “Meet the Press,” “The Colbert Report,” MSNBC and NPR. He is the executive producer and host of PBS’s “Coming Back with Wes Moore,” which focuses on the re-integration of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans upon their return.

Lectures are streamed at http://enthompson.unl.edu and are available live on Lincoln Time Warner Cable digital channel 80, channel 71.16 without a cable box, UNL campus channel 4 and KRNU radio 90.3 FM. All lectures are interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Moore’s talk is co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services at UNL. The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and UNL. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage debate.