Author relates to campus diversity

courtesy John Hopkins University Arts and Sciences Magazine
courtesy John Hopkins University Arts and Sciences Magazine

Wes Moore will kick off this year’s Black Awareness Month (BAM) celebration Feb. 1 with a speech in the BankUnited Center’s Hurricane 100 Room.

Moore is a businessman and Army combat veteran who wrote the book, “The Other Wes Moore: One Name and Two Fates- A Story of Tragedy and Hope.”

After seeing Moore on Oprah last summer, Renee Callan, director of MSA, thought he would be relatable to students and suggested the idea of an event featuring Moore to United Black Students (UBS) and Brothers Overcoming Negativity and Destruction (B.O.N.D.).

“The Other Wes Moore” is about overcoming obstacles and transcending the environment from a specifically male point of view. Callan thought Moore could reach out to more minority men on campus and get them involved.

“When you think about his life, he’s a Rhodes scholar, a White House Fellow and a veteran; his background relates to various different student backgrounds on campus,” Callan said. “It’s not just about showcasing an African-American male.”

Moore will make a visit to UM to sign books and speak to students during A Step In the Right Direction: The Wes Moore Story. The event is free and open to everyone.

The book signing is just the first of this year’s month-long BAM celebration themed Footsteps… Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going… The whole UM community is invited to experience the culture with events like the BAM Day of Service at the Overtown Youth Center, the Black Business Expo and BAM fashion show.

UBS Second Vice President Dara Collins looks forward to everyone’s response to the month’s events.

“We’re focusing heavily on expanding our reach and making sure the entire campus can enjoy,” Collins said. “I encourage the entire UM community to come celebrate black culture and history through spiritual, fun activities and planning. There’s something for everybody.”

Jasmine Henderson can be contacted at