Wes Moore

Wes Moore, author of Sacramento State’s 2016-17 One Book selection, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, is the keynote speaker for the DEGREES (Dedicated to Educating, Graduating, and Retaining Educational Equity Students) Project’s annual recognition ceremony from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 1, in the University Union Ballroom.

Moore is scheduled to speak at 12:25 p.m.

The Other Wes Moore, a New York Times best-seller, is the true story of two men who lived parallel lives, to a point. They were born within a year of each other, grew up fatherless in similar tough Baltimore neighborhoods, and had run-ins with the law in their youth. Wes Moore the author grew up to be a Rhodes scholar, a decorated combat veteran, a White House Fellow, and a successful businessman. The other Wes Moore, convicted of felony murder, is serving a life sentence in prison. The two men would come to know each other.

The Other Wes Moore highlights the struggles of African American men growing up in a world that is becoming increasingly divided by race, education, and economics,” says Hellen Lee, faculty coordinator of Sac State’s One Book Program. “In our moment in history, young African American men and women are feeling less welcome at colleges and universities. This book has allowed our campus community to examine what the decreasing number of African American and other students of color will mean for preparing students to move into a world that is becoming more diverse, global, and heterogeneous.

“This important book also offers all students a hard look at the difficult and life-changing choices they will make for the daily and milestone events in their lives.”

Sac State’s One Book Program was established in 2008 to introduce the campus community and the greater Sacramento region to writers who have addressed contemporary issues in a compelling way.

“This event represents a collaboration among a host of campus departments and programs to share in the experience of one voice, and through one book to chart journeys of achievement,” says Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, associate vice president for Student Retention and Academic Success.

The DEGREES Project will recognize Sac State students, faculty, and staff, along with members of the Sacramento community, for fostering student success and educational equity. This year’s theme is “Success Against All Impossibilities.”

For more information about the DEGREES Project and to register for the May 1 recognition ceremony: csus.edu/degreesproject/recognition. – Dixie Reid