Professor to Lead Front Porch Conversation on ‘The Other Wes Moore’

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 5, 2015 – High Point University’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program will help the YWCA’s and Human Relations Department’s program kick off its 2015 series of Front Porch Conversations with a discussion of the book “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates.” Dr. Jenn Brandt, director of women’s and gender studies and assistant professor of English at HPU, and other members of the YWCA Social Justice Committee will lead the conversation from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 19.

In the book, author Wes Moore tells the story of two kids with the same name, living in the same city. One – the author – grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for felony murder. Despite having the same name and growing up in similar neighborhoods with difficult childhoods, Moore observes that their choices and the people in their lives have led them to astonishingly different destinies.

During the Feb. 19 event, Brandt, Al Heggins, human relations director of the City of High Point, and Heidi Majors, executive director of the YWCA, will lead a discussion of the circumstances surrounding both men named Wes Moore and the role community plays in shaping individuals’ lives.

“This year’s series of Front Porch Conversations will explore different aspects of social justice, and our conversation on ‘The Other Wes Moore’ will connect the theme of social justice to communities,” says Brandt. “We will also consider the intersections of race, class and gender on the opportunities one has and how different choices impact our lives. Lastly, the talk will address conversations begun on Jan. 31 with the ‘Black and Blue’ discussion between the High Point Police Department and the African-American community at City Hall.”

The discussion of Moore’s book will serve as a preview for the author’s visit to HPU in the fall as part of the university’s new Common Experience. The initiative will engage the entire campus in a yearlong conversation about the theme “just communities” and will include students and faculty reading Moore’s latest book, “The Work: My Search for a Life that Matters.”

The YWCA partners with the City of High Point’s Human Relations Department and HPU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program to host monthly panel discussions on various topics of interest to the community, including racial and social justice issues, multicultural and diversity literacy, resources and solutions to community issues.

The event is free and open to the public and will take place at the YWCA. Doors will open at 11:45 a.m. Those attending are welcome to bring a lunch.

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