This is the story of two young people from completely different worlds: Kennedy Odede from Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, and Jessica Posner from Denver, Colorado. Kennedy foraged for food, lived on the street, and taught himself to read with old newspapers. When an American volunteer gave him the work of Mandela, Garvey, and King, teenaged Kennedy decided he was going to change his life and his community. He bought a soccer ball and started a youth empowerment group he called Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). Then in 2007, Wesleyan undergraduate Jessica Posner spent a semester abroad in Kenya working with SHOFCO. Breaking all convention, she decided to live in Kibera with Kennedy, and they fell in love.Their connection persisted, and Jessica helped Kennedy to escape political violence and fulfill his lifelong dream of an education, at Wesleyan University.
The alchemy of their remarkable union has drawn the support of community members and celebrities alike—The Clintons, Mia Farrow, and Nicholas Kristof are among their fans—and their work has changed the lives of many of Kibera’s most vulnerable population: its girls. Jess and Kennedy founded Kibera’s first tuition-free school for girls, a large, bright blue building, which stands as a bastion of hope in what once felt like a hopeless place. But Jessica and Kennedy are just getting started—they have expanded their model to connect essential services like health care, clean water, and economic empowerment programs. They’ve opened an identical project in Mathare, Kenya’s second largest slum, and intend to expand their remarkably successful program for change.
Ultimately this is a love story about a fight against poverty and hopelessness, the transformation made possible by a true love, and the power of young people to have a deep impact on the world.
Kennedy Odede is one of Africa's best-known community organizers and social entrepreneurs. Kennedy is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and a trustee of Wesleyan University.
Jessica Posner is the cofounder of Shining Hope for Communities. She is a nationally recognized social entrepreneur and activist. She won the 2010 Do Something Award and was named "America's top world-changer 25 and under" live on VH1. Jessica has been recognized as one of Wesleyan University's Distinguished Alumni, and has received the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship.
Before attending Dartmouth, the worst thing Andrew Lohse had ever done was skip school to attend a John McCain rally. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, he was the typical American honor student: straight-As, on the lacrosse team, president of the Model U.N. He dreamed of following in his grandfather's footsteps and graduating from the Ivy League. When he arrived at Dartmouth, however, he found not the prestigious college of years past, but a wasteland of privilege and moral entropy. And when he rushed Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the fraternity that inspired the rival house in Animal House, Lohse's once-perfect life, as well as his goals, began to crumble around him.
Lured by free booze and friendly brothers, Andrew pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and soon his life became a dangerous cycle of binge drinking and public humiliation. From chugging vinegar to swimming in a pool of human waste, Lohse's pledge class endured cruelty and psychological coercion in the hopes of obtaining a bid. Although Andrew succeeded in joining the fraternity, the pattern of abuse continued—except over time, he became the abuser.
Told by a contemporary Holden Caulfield, this is a shocking exposé of America's most exclusive institutions and a cautionary tale for modern times.
After their father’s death, Harry, Frank, and Pierce Fukuhara—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved to Hiroshima, their mother’s ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry returned in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry was sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators and he dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, his brothers Frank and Pierce became soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army.
As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face each other in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of their family.
Alternating between the American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylight captures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—as never told before in English—and provides a fresh look at the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, it is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.