Odede ’12 Speaks to the Class of 2023

As part of New Student Orientation and Wesleyan’s First Year Matters program, members of the Class of 2023 attended a lecture and discussion on Aug. 30 with Kennedy Odede ’12.

As part of New Student Orientation and Wesleyan’s First Year Matters program, members of the Class of 2023 attended a lecture and discussion with Kennedy Odede ’12 on Aug. 30.

Odede and his wife, Jessica Posner ’09, are coauthors of this year’s common read Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum. In their memoir, Odede and Posner share the story of their lives growing up in vastly different worlds. Odede reflects on the poverty, violence, and desperation he experienced growing up in Kibera, one of Kenya's largest slums, and translating those feelings of disenfranchisement into community work by creating SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities).

Odede and his wife, Jessica Posner ’09, are co-authors of this year’s common read Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum. In their memoir, Odede and Posner share the story of their lives growing up in vastly different worlds. Odede reflects on the poverty, violence, and desperation he experienced growing up in Kibera, one of Kenya’s largest slums, and translating those feelings of disenfranchisement into community work by creating SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities).

"The moment I set my feet at Wes, I knew I was really spoiled, privileged," he said. "It doesn’t matter where you come from, if you are at Wes you are privileged... and now ask yourself, 'what will I do with my privilege?'"

“The moment I set my feet at Wes, I knew I was really spoiled, privileged,” Odede said. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, if you are at Wes you are privileged…. And now ask yourself, ‘what will I do with my privilege?'”

Odede welcomed questions from the audience.