Anti-bullying effort attracts nationally recognized motivational speaker Wes Moore to Norman

School classroom

NORMAN, Okla. - As part of a new citywide anti-bullying awareness effort, nationally recognized motivational speaker Wes Moore is coming to a community-wide event in Norman

Admission is free for the event starting at 7 p.m. Dec. 3, at the Nancy O’Brian Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Norman North High School.

It seems like every time we turn on the news or pick up a newspaper, there is a tragic story about someone who has been bullied and either harms themself or others as a response to the bullying,” said Bob Thomas, executive director of The Xenia Institute. “Bullying happens on a daily basis in schools, businesses and neighborhoods in communities around the country.  It is a common thread that runs through communities and we decided we wanted to actively take a stand to better understand and address that challenge in Norman.

In 2012, the group established a community forum in hopes of more clearly identifying the community’s perceptions of bullying.  A community listening session was conducted last fall with more than 100 people participating.

We gained valuable insight from the listening session,” Humphrey said. “It enlightened us to the fact that bullying is much more than a school issue; it is a community issue.

Moore is a popular and nationally renowned speaker and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Other Wes Moore. Following his studies as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, he served as a paratrooper and Captain in the United States Army, with a tour of duty with the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan.  He subsequently served as a White House Fellow, working as a special assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

We are absolutely thrilled that Wes is joining us for the evening of December 3,” Humphrey said.  “He is not only a youth advocate, but an individual who has a clear understanding of the challenges we all face with bullying and its impact throughout our communities.

In addition to hearing from Wes Moore, the Dec. 3 event will provide a panel of community leaders to respond to questions about bullying, and the evening will be geared to both students and adults of all ages. Event sponsors are the City of Norman, Journey Church, Norman Regional Hospital, and Norman Public Schools.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.