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The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

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Date and time
Monday, May 17, 2010

Wes Moore, combat veteran and former White House Fellow, discusses chance, fate, family, and accountability and his new book *The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates*. He then introduces representatives from non-profit organizations that work to provide opportunity for at-risk students. In December 2000, the *Baltimore Sun* ran a small piece about Wes Moore, 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 a spectacularly botched armed robbery. The police were still hunting for two of the suspects who had gone on the lam, a pair of brothers. One was named Wes Moore. Wes couldn't shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen? That letter led to a correspondence and relationship that have lasted for several years. Over dozens of letters and prison visits, Wes discovered that the other Wes had had a life not unlike his own: Both had grown up in similar neighborhoods and had had difficult childhoods, both were fatherless; they'd hung out on similar corners with similar crews, and both had run into trouble with the police. At each stage of their young lives they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.

Wes Moore is a Rhodes Scholar, a combat veteran of Afghanistan, and has worked as a Special Assistant to Secretary Condoleezza Rice at the State Department as a White House Fellow. He was a featured speaker at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, named one of *Ebony* magazine’s Top 30 Leaders Under 30 (2007), and most recently, dubbed one of the top young business leaders in America in *Crain’s*. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Jon started playing the piano at the age of 4, an age when his feet could not reach the pedals of the piano. Required to take at least two years of piano lessons by his mother, he realized early that he would continue beyond those two beginning years. From age 4 till age 12, Jon took formal lessons in the Suzuki and John Schwam methods before taking a break from piano lessons due to a heavy school and sports schedule. During his Freshman year at a small private school in St. Louis, MO, Jon wrote his first, original, solo piano composition. This piece was written in a modified-Sonata style and still is one of Jon's favorite pieces. It is a short, simple, and vibrant piece of music that received the title track honors of his first album ("Progressions Through Time"). Before he knew it, he had 18 original compositions which became his first album, "Progressions Through Time" (2003). While at a small private Liberal Arts college in southern Illinois, he wrote the music for and recorded his second album, "Elation" (2005), and "Leaving The Vertical World" (2007). He received a double major in Spanish and History from Principia College while at the same time having three self-produced original, solo-piano albums. Jon spends his time teaching in Boston, MA where he is currently working on the music for his fourth album (release date TBD). Playing the piano and writing music is something that makes Jon who he is. He is grateful to have the opportunity to share it with people all across the globe. He has sold albums in almost all of the 50 U.S. states and in the countries of: Japan, South Korea, England, Australia, Peru, Mexico, Spain, and France. [Source: http://jonhinthorne.squarespace.com/]
Clare McCully is the executive director of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
Ebenezer Asare is a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar at Harvard University.