"The Other Wes Moore" - A Community Conversation
Two boys growing up in Baltimore, just blocks apart, in fatherless homes, sharing the same name; one became a success in life--a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, business leader, author, husband and father. The other was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. The question the author tries to answer is: What made the difference?
"The Other Wes Moore" was the choice for Lakewood Reads, an annual community-wide summer reading program established by Lakewood High School, now in its second year. The students are being engaged in a number of activities centered around the book. A group of 50 are going to Akron to hear Wes Moore speak in person, another group will have an opportunity to speak to Mr. Moore remotely through Skype, and the entire school is engaging in a week of activities focusing on identity, decision-making, values, peer support, and goal-setting.
The Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission (LCRAC), the Lakewood Family Collaborative (the Collab), and the University of Akron-Lakewood will be sponsoring a Community Conversation on the problems and issues raised by the book. The book is extremely relevant to Lakewood, as many of our students are struggling to make the right choices with limited resources and support. Because our future is our youth, many parents and community members are looking for a forum to ask questions and share concerns raised in the book.
"The Other Wes Moore" – A Community Conversation will be held on Wednesday, November 14th from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the University of Akron-Lakewood, 14725 Detroit Avenue, Suite 108. The entrance is off of Warren Road and there is free parking in the garage after 6:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. As of this writing, our panel members will be Dr. Ronnie A. Dunn, Associate Professor of Urban Studies at Cleveland State University; Mary Hall, Administrator Division of Youth, City of Lakewood; Michael Ryan, Cleveland Municipal Judge and candidate for Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division; and students of Lakewood. Our panelists, who have deep personal and professional experience with the topic, will outline the issues facing our youth and our community.
We hope to have people engage in an in-depth conversation around the central themes raised in this compelling story, such as personal choice and accountability, role models, peer support, race, economics and educational opportunities. The book is available at Lakewood Public Library, but please do not feel that you must have read the book to be part of this event. We expect this to be a fruitful and engaging evening and hope that we will see you there!
I am a resident of Lakewood for over 40 years and a member of the Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission.