“Why is this your fight? Because my humanity demands it of me.” –Wes Moore

A sold-out crowd listened closely to Wes Moore as he spoke about the line between our life and another’s on Tuesday, October 8th. MSUM read his book, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, for this year’s common read. 

What’s a common read? It happens across 300+ campuses and we use it to promote our anchor of diversity. It helps us ask this question: What ways does our society offer opportunities for success? The whole experience helps bring people together around a unifying thread as people come from different backgrounds and places.

From the start, Hansen Theatre was full of life. When Dr. Lee Vigilant introduced Wes Moore, he was met with loud cheers from supportive students. The goal of the common read seemed to work: It brought people together.

Wes Moore wrote his story with the goal of sending the reader on a journey. He had discovered someone with his name who also happened to have a similar background. Despite their similarities, they grew up to be completely different people. One became a bestselling author, an entrepreneur, a television producer, and decorated US Army combat veteran. The other Wes Moore is in jail. The former was our speaker. 

The most important part about the title of his book is “The Other.” Wes Moore, through his book, tells us about how we live in an interconnected society and that the world is bigger than what is in front of us. He learned from looking into another person’s life and shared it with us. Taking the time to think from another’s perspective could change the world. And that is why Wes Moore wants us to focus on “The Other.”

After Wes Moore spoke, he took the time for a Q&A with those who came. He also had a quick book signing when it was all over. It was a very exciting time for the audience.

Scrolling through Twitter under the hashtag #MSUMReads you’ll find many Dragons, including President Anne Blackhurst, tweeting Wes Moore quotes. Take a moment of your time to read them. There are plenty of good ones.