By Katherine Parker
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Renowned speaker and author Wes Moore will talk to community members, teachers and students at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Nancy O’Brian Center for the Performing Arts as part of the city of Norman’s effort to launch anti-bullying initiatives in Norman.
Moore said he is honored to be invited to speak with the Norman Public School system and community members and that he hopes to further anti-bullying efforts.
“I hope to further their mission in preventing bullying by highlighting the importance of care and responsibility, not only in our own actions, but for those around us who might not be ready to protect themselves,” Moore said. “This sense of honor and integrity means not allowing our friends and neighbors to be overlooked, but to instead lift them up when they fall.
“How we serve others is ultimately a reflection of ourselves.”
In 2010, Moore’s book, “The Other Wes Moore,” was published and became a New York Time’s bestseller, a nonfiction story about two men with the same name, from the same neighborhood, whose lives had very different outcomes.
Additionally, Moore was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, after which he served as a paratrooper and captain in the United States Army. Moore subsequently served as a White House Fellow and worked as a special assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Moore was invited to address the Norman community after Norman community members, including Police Chief Keith Humphrey and NPS Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano, worked together for a year after a 2012 forum identified bullying as a community issue.
Bullying typically involves silent bystanders who enable the bully with their inaction. Additionally, bullying now occurs over social media, and bullies tend to target those with ethnic, cultural or religious differences or those with special needs.
Moore said he believed preventing bullying should not just focus on the suffering of the victims but also on teaching the community to stand against bullying.
“Preventing bullying should also ... focus on proactively teaching our children and fellow community members the value of having the kind of character that enables them to stand up for others selflessly, recognize injustice and have the conviction to make things right,” Moore said.
Humphrey said Moore understands the challenges bullying presents and the community is thrilled that Moore will be coming to Norman.
“He is not only a youth advocate, but (also) an individual who has a clear understanding of the challenges we all face with bullying and its impact throughout our communities,” Humphrey said.
“Preventing bullying goes beyond protecting a single person or calling out someone for their wrongdoing. It is ultimately the goal of every person who wishes to live in an honest, open community that proudly embraces all of its citizens,” Moore said.
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