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‘Cat in the Stax: Behind the Lines of The Other Wes Moore

In wrapping up November’s Read with the (other) Jenna book club pick, today I wanted to look a little more at the life of Wes Moore. Specifically looking at his involvement with us in the Villanova community and his involvement daily with communities nationwide.

Wes Moore at Villanova University

Alumni may remember reading The Other Wes Moore: One Name Two Fates when it was Villanova’s One Book selection in 2014, the 10th anniversary of the program at Villanova. Wes Moore came to visit Villanova’s campus on Sept. 25 of that year and kicked off his visit with a dinner featuring foods inspired by the memoir, followed by a headshot of author Wes Moorepresentation to the entire Villanova community. Moore’s presentation also coincided with the opening of the University’s annual St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration. 

In 2014, the book was selected because it talked about important and relevant topics including education, poverty, and the importance of determination and mentors in a young person’s life. Today, I selected this book to read as the November book club read for all of the same reasons. The themes discussed in The Other Wes Moore: One Name Two Fates are timeless. 

To see a full list of all past One Book selections click here

Wes Moore in the News Today
The timelessness and impact of Moore’s story can also be seen in the news even now. Below, I briefly touch on three of the news stories this past month that include Wes Moore.

Wes Moore — With a Little Help From His Friends — Sees a Historic Moment

In the days leading up to the election, Wes Moore sat down as part of a five-person panel to discuss the upcoming election and its implications. When asked why he votes, Moore answered that he votes for those who cannot vote. The themes of fighting to give equal opportunity and create a more supportive future for all are brought out in his book are echoed in many of his presentations to this day.

Robin Hood’s ‘Heroes of New York’ special celebrates resiliency and generosity amid pandemic

Wes Moore serves as Chief Executive Officer for Robin Hood, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization. Yesterday, Dec. 1, they partnered with iHeart Radio to air “Heroes of New York,” showcasing efforts of New Yorkers to bring light back to their city in the midst of the pandemic. In Moore’s life, he has not only overcome poverty himself, but now works to help others in New York to do the same.

CCM to hold forum on racial equity with national speakers in December

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities is holding a forum to discuss racial equity on Dec. 3 and Wes Moore is set to be a speaker. Issues surrounding race and diversity are not just a trend, but something that should be an ongoing discussion. Moore has emerged as a key voice to be listening to and learning from as we continue navigating these discussions and advocating for change.

Who are your mentors that inspire you to fight for more every day and what can you do today to inspire someone else?

And remember, be on the lookout in late January for the Read with the (other) Jenna Spring line-up of books!


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Creating my book list for 2021.


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Meet Wes Moore, 2014 "One Book Villanova" Author in the library today at 4:30

1398353001099The One Book Villanova Program is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year!  In honor of this landmark occasion, the One Book Villanova committee  proudly announced the 2014-2015 book selection: The Other Wes Moore by author Wes Moore. WESMOREThe book follows the lives of two young men who are about the same age, live in the same city and who also share the same name. Despite their many striking similarities, the young men’s lives take very different paths: one Wes grows up to be a scholar, war veteran, White House aide and prominent business leader while the other Wes becomes a convicted criminal serving a life sentence for allegedly committing murder. The Other Wes Moore leads the reader to contemplate how these two people turned out so differently despite some of their remarkably similar circumstances growing up in poverty-stricken Baltimore.

Throughout the past ten years, the Villanova One Book selections have varied greatly in topic and theme and have led readers through many diverse cultural settings and landscapes.
– Good Kings Bad Kings took us to Chicago and showed us the harsh realities of institutional life for adolescents with disabilities.
– Little Princes
exposed the human trafficking issues that orphaned children face in Nepal.
– Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
described for us what the Japanese Internment camps were like for families during WWII.
– The Unforgiving Minute placed us in the shoes of a West Point educated soldier as he led his platoon through the savagery and uncertainty of combat in Afghanistan.
– Rooftops of Tehran described life in Iran under its oppressive regime.
– In The Glass Castle, we learned what it was like for the author to grow up homeless with highly dysfunctional parents.
– Left to Tell poignantly described one woman’s experience surviving the Rwandan genocide.
– In Blood Done Sign My Name, we witnessed the civil rights struggle in the American south.
– In The Kite Runner, our very first One Book selection in 2004-2005, we traveled to both Afghanistan and America and experienced the harsh Taliban takeover of the country and felt the hardships of immigration.
Each of these book selections has helped to strengthen the ties of the Villanova Community and has also forced us to confront the sometimes harsh realities of human nature. The One Book Villanova Committee hopes to continue this tradition with the tenth anniversary One Book Villanova selection, The Other Wes Moore.

ONE-BOOKSAll rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors received a copy of the 2014-2015 One Book Villanova selection in early May, and all incoming freshmen were mailed a copy of the book over the summer. In addition, the One Book Villanova Committee decided to change the format and timing of the program. The author’s visit will occur on Thursday, September 25, as part of the St. Thomas of Villanova weekend festivities. The entire Villanova Community is encouraged the read The Other Wes Moore in preparation for the author’s visit on September 25! Those students, staff and faculty who were not able to pick up a copy of the book in early May should visit the Office of Student Development (Room 214/217 Dougherty Hall), the Office for Multicultural Affairs (Room 102 Dougherty Hall), or Falvey Memorial Library anytime during normal business hours to receive a book. For students, the book is free of charge and for faculty and staff the cost is $6 per book.

Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore

Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore

The One Book Committee is also in the midst of planning a series of topical programs throughout the academic year in support of the 2014-2015 book selection and to promote the tenth anniversary of the program.

More information about the author’s visit and One Book Villanova tenth anniversary programming can be found on the One Book website.


News From Falvey Winter 2008 - Gina McFaddenArticle by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication and Service Promotion team and library events and program coordinator for the Scholarly Outreach team.


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Last Modified: September 25, 2014