Moore to speak on youth advocacy, ‘becoming a man’



What does it mean to “become a man”?

That is the question New York Times best-selling author and veteran, Wes Moore, will challenge Chautauquans to think about.

At 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater, Moore will discuss the challenges of the transition from boyhood to manhood as it relates to education and youth advocacy.

Moore said he will look at the evolution of boys to men through an education perspective, discussing “what it means, what it looks like and what we can learn from it.”

“The transition from boyhood to manhood is often a dark one,” Moore said.

Asking a young boy to describe adulthood can be a confusing question, and Moore said he believes creating a definition of manhood and generating expectations for boys is important in today’s society.

Moore’s own experiences have played a large role in creating his personal definition of adulthood, and he said he will draw from those experiences during the lecture.

“Where you stand depends on where you sit,” he said.

Moore graduated from Valley Forge Military College, Johns Hopkins University and became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, but he faced his own share of challenges growing up.

“My evolution into adulthood wasn’t always easy, and it wasn’t always correct,” he said.

The topics and individuals featured in his most recent book, The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters, will also be incorporated into Moore’s discussion. The Work dives into Moore’s journey as a young man to find purpose within his own life through service, while sharing stories of individuals who affected him most along the way.

Youth advocacy has become one way for Moore to work toward a better future for young boys and girls today. One of Moore’s goals in his advocacy work is to help the disparities among youth today.

One of the most difficult transitions for young people today is the one from high school into college, he said.

Moore is the Founder and CEO of BridgeEdU, a first year college program that provides an innovative path to higher education. BridgeEdU helps students transition from high school to college through academic courses, internships and service opportunities. By creating more opportunities and having this collegiate conversation, Moore said it is possible to raise the bar of expectation for young boys.

“These issues are not small things,” he said.

He not only wants to challenge how the world thinks about manhood but also put forth a call to action to get more people involved in the conversation.

Moore is no stranger to Chautauqua Institution, delivering a lecture on juvenile crime during the 2013 season. He was also a Chautauqua Literary Scientific Circle author in 2012 for his book The Other Wes Moore, and led a CLCS Young Readers discussion of his follow-up book, Discovering Wes Moore, in 2013.

“[Chautauqua] isn’t about learning,” he said. “It’s about acting.”