Thursday, June 10, 2021

Climate Change - Environmental Racism

What issue has the most potential to unite people from around the world to fight against inequality? Climate Change. I encourage you to view this film, then plan to share it with youth and volunteers in your tutor/mentor programs.

While we all seek ways to inspire youth to learn, many realize we need to provide a reason to learn and engage with others. Building in a "climate change" study/activism group within a tutor/mentor program could offer many long term benefits to youth and volunteers, and to the larger community.

It this video the speakers called the climate crisis "Environmental Racism" and said "climate disruptions are a social justice issue", saying that "who gets hurt the most are poor people who can't get out of the way."

The organizers of a 2013 climate march recognized that "in order to address the climate crisis we have to first address inequalities".

Thus, throughout this video you'll see efforts to reach out to minorities, the poor, and those who are  most disadvantaged.

This second video was created in 2009 and shows how movements in the 1960's lead to a wave of legislation in the 1970s. Can this be repeated in the 2020s?

This video describes the process of mobilizing people as a "swarm" and suggests that with the Internet it's possible to create an on line hub that could support the growth of the climate change movement.

As you look at the strategy that's proposed, visit this presentation, which shows the strategy I've been following since creating the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993, and the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011.

Prior to 2016 I did not include much information about the climate crisis in my web library.  After viewing these videos I did some web searching to see if I could find some graphics that showed the growth of the climate change network, or showed the different organizations who they have been connecting with.

350 0rg seems to be one of the lead intermediaries in the climate change movement.  Below is a screen shot of a map that shows different organizations working on climate change throughout the world.

I have been using GIS maps since 1993 to show where tutor/mentor programs are needed, and to show participation in conferences I've hosted in Chicago and to show participation in on-line events, like the Connected Learning #clmooc.  Maps force you to look at all the places where a problem needs to be solved, or that need to be represented in movement-building. Without a map you could fill a stadium with people who are active in solving a problem, but still be missing most of the places where the problem needs a constant flow of ideas, talent, dollars, technology, etc. to be solved.

Over the past 20 years I've also become interested in process and strategy. How does a tutor/mentor program help a youth move through school and into a job? How do we make well organized, long-term programs available in more places? How do climate change organizers map their own process toward goal? How is this being done in other sectors?

How do we visualize this?

I started creating concept maps to show strategy and to show organization's I'm connecting with, via events I attend, people I meet on line, or links in the Tutor/Mentor web library.  In many of these maps I include links, pointing visitors directly to additional maps, and/or the web sites of other organizations.

The map below is a collection of maps that focus on building networks, and creating maps to show who I'm reaching out to, and who is in my web library.  See my entire cMap collection

In this map, which is a collection of several maps,  I'm trying to show that while supporting youth via non-school tutoring, mentoring and learning programs is my primary goal, it is not the primary goal of organizers who focus on different issues, such as climate change, public health, the environment, inequality, racism, jobs, etc..  Poverty, climate change and other environmental issues are only a few of the issues included in the United Nations Sustainability goals.

I use the pie chart to visualize leaders from many sectors focusing on each issue area, including the mission of my organization. I should be able to find blog articles, such as these that use systems thinking and concept maps to engage a network of stakeholders and show strategies for achieving long-term goals of climate change, public health, violence prevention, inequality, etc.   The hub and spoke design of the wheel shows that these issues are related to each other.  The climate march organizers in the first video recognized this, saying " "in order to address the climate crisis we have to first address inequalities".

My blog articles, strategy presentations, web library, concept maps, and GIS maps are examples that not only could be used by leaders who focus on  poverty and youth development throughout the world, but by leaders who understand that to solve their problem they also need to focus on inequalities in the world, and that they, too, could be using maps like I do to show their progress, their networks and how they are connecting people, organizations and resources.

I've started a sub-section in the Tutor/Mentor library, with links to climate change articles.  In addition, I've used this blog article (and my original climate change article posted in 2016), to add new links as I find them. 

As I write articles like this I seek three responses:

a) Are there people already writing articles and creating maps like this?  If you know them, post a link in the comment section of this blog

b) Are you a writer, illustrator, mapper, etc. who can communicate these ideas more effectively than I do? 

c) are you one of those who are contributing hundreds of million dollars to every election cycle and might want to devote a few million to fully developing the Tutor/Mentor Institute as a free standing organization, or on a college campus?

If you're any of the above,  I look forward to hearing from you.   

One organization that has been doing this well is the United Nations' Sustainability Development Goals Project.  Visit the SDGs website and for each of the 17 goals, shown in this graphic, there is an extensive library of information, including maps.

additional reading about Climate Change

Note: 2/2/2017 update - here's an ESRI storymap showing impact of climate change on migration throughout the world. The is valuable resource both for understanding climate crisis, and for understanding uses of storymaps. 

4-2-2017 update - This article on the web site shows that liberal approaches to climate change are just as much of a problem as is conservative denial. 

4-2-2017 update - are we facing a global extension of the human race - this writer has a series of blog articles that show this possible future.

4-15-2017 update - An Unprecedented Four Famines Threaten the Planet. - read article

4-17-2017 update - take to the streets during April 2017 and other actions you can take  - read article

6-19-2017 update - Atlantis Rising: Why Floating Cities are the Next Frontier - see video

6-26-17 update - Deadly Heat Waves Likely to Get Worse - read article talking about affect of extreme heat.

7-9-17 update - analysis of economic impact of climate change in the US - read article

7-10-17 update - This article, titled The Uninhabitable Earth, describes coming climate disasters facing the world.

7-17-17 update - The Climate-Smart Cities program at the Trust for Public Land is helping cities overcome challenges to successful climate action. Read article.

8-30-17 update - The Texas Floods following Hurricane Havey have generated several new articles worth reading.  1) Public Service Media Warned of Texas Catastrophe. Still time to learn (article). This points to a 2016 series titled "Hell and High Water" ;  2) How catastrophe affects most vulnerable people most. article; and 3) library of ESRI story maps showing flooding in Texas and around world. A second page showing ESRI story maps - click here

11-11-17 update - Here's a group that draws attention to climate change with music. It's called The Climate Music Project. click here

11-13-17 update - #Decarbonize #Decolonize  describes itself as "worlds largest synthesis of youth research, recommended policy and action on climate change". Is mobilizing youth from across the planet.

2-27-18 update - Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration - Rolling Stone article. As some areas become unlivable the wealthy will move to more climate friendly cities, causing prices to rise, driving out the poor. Those without the money to move will suffer greatly.

5-16-2018 update - The Shape of Water - Chicago Magazine article forecasting a future for Chicago and the Great Lakes water basin. click here

6-21-2018 update - How Tackling Climate Change Could Tackle Inequality - read article

7-9-2018 update - Nicola Avery, from UK, posted blog article today with a collection of climate change links. Add to your reading list. click here

9-3-2018 update - Planetary Health Alliance - article with many links to additional resources - click here

10-12-18 update - Interactive map shows projected changes in rainfall and snow by 2050 in communities across the world.

10-17-18 update - Popular Science magazine article titled "The most important science policy issue in every state" - click here

11-16-18 update - List of natural disasters in the USA since 2000 - on Wikipedia. What's important to understand is that people in past disasters are probably still trying to rebuild their lives, even after many years. 

3-6-19 update - Project Drawdown claims to be "the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming".  The site includes a list of 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change -   click here

3-6-19 update - WASH Funders by Candid - web resource focuses on water issues around world. Includes a funders map, too. click here

8-1-19 update - "Migration and the climate crisis: the UN’s search for solutions" - article 

10-25-19 update - Global Chaos Map Project - this project is building a map to help understand where in the world environmental and political stress is leading to violence.  Click here to read article.   Click here to the Chaos Map Project site. Click here to view the interactive map.

12-18-19 update - America After Climate Change Mapped - click here

2-3-2021 update - Now's the Time interactive map shows oil, natural gas, coal, wind and other energy production and distribution resources from around the world.  For those advocating for movement away from carbon based energies this site should be a useful tool.  This is website with overview. 

2-3-2021 update - Climate Justice Alliance - Here's description from website: "Climate Justice Alliance is amplifying the leadership of the original Our Power Communities while expanding to 70 communities in seven regions that are home to key grassroots groups. These groups organize to end the era of extreme energy and implement a Just Transition that promotes local control of resources (including energy, land, water, and food systems)." 

2-3-2021 update - Extinction Rebellion Chicago (XRC) - a growing group of activists formed in 2019 to demand, through creative and non-violent direct action, t hat the government act now to stop climate catastrophe.

2-4-2021 update - Mapping Environmental Justice in the Biden-Harris Administration - click here ;  Mentioned in the article is the CalEnviroScreen. This link points to a Disadvantaged Communities Map (California). 

2-24-2021 update - Is your house going to flood because of climate change? These maps will tell you. - read article 

3-6-2021 update - Mapping Project Explores Links Between Historic Redlining And Future Climate Vulnerability - click here

6-10-2021 updateAmerica After Climate Change - Mappedclick here

Monday, June 07, 2021

"Why Not Me?" Geisha Williams at IWU Commencement

In my May 6th article I shared some Tweets from the previous week.  One was of the Sunday, May 2, Commencement ceremonies of Illinois Wesleyan University, where I earned a BA in History in 1968 and was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2001. 

The keynote speaker was Geisha Williams, the only Latina CEO of a Fortune 200 company.  She's also the wife of one of my Acacia fraternity brothers!  View the video to see here speech, then ask yourself, "Why not me?"
When I posted this I did not have a link to her IWU address, so pointed to this blog article featuring Geisha Williams and the "Why not me" video message.  

Today this article and a photo of Geisha and her husband Jay Williams was posted.  It included a link to her address at the IWU commencement. 

This is a message that volunteer tutors and mentors, parents, coaches and educators need to be sharing with youth throughout the world.

"Why not me?"

"Yes, I can."

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Remembering the sacrifices of June 6, 1944 - D-Day

As America and friends around the world celebrate D-Day, the landing of Allied Armies on the beaches of Normandy, on June 6, 1944, I've been looking back at articles I wrote in past years to recognize this event.

In 2009 I posted an article with a link to the web site which announced President Obama's "United We Serve" campaign, intended to mobilize citizens to get involved in community problem solving. The site still promotes volunteerism, but that campaign is no longer on the site.

The introduction said, "people can achieve extraordinary things when given the proper tools."

 "President Obama was asking us to come together to help lay a new foundation for growth. This initiative aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers in their work and encourage volunteers to develop their own "do-it-yourself" projects."


I found this photo showing troops that were landing on the Normandy Beach during D-Day. Think about what this photo illustrates, and compare that to the current mobilization of volunteers to do service. 

 These troops had been training for months. This invasion was planned for years. The landing craft were being built years be for the invasion because it was anticipated that they would be needed. The solders were well armed, well fed, and led by well trained leaders. 

That costs money. Lots of money. 

There are lots of ways volunteers can do service. Some projects, like cleaning up a park, or building a house, might take a day, or several weeks. However, these are short term. 

Other projects, like tutoring/mentoring require more consistent, long-term involvement, if the benefit is that the youth being tutored/mentored has overcome his own learning difficulties, and the negative influences of his family or community which might be modeling examples and behaviors that don't lead to high school graduation, college or productive jobs and careers. 

In both cases, volunteers time is well spent when there are leaders who have the experience to organize their efforts, and support their involvement. Sending volunteers into organizations which don't have this leadership is like sending troops onto a beach without rifles or bullets. 

I was a member of the Chicago delegation to the 1997 President's Summit for America's Future, which pledged support for the 15 million kids in America who were being left behind because they lived in high poverty. Lots of great rhetoric and patriotic speeches were given by General Powell, President Clinton and others that shows the vision behind the Summit. 

The problem was, not one was thinking of the infrastructure needed across America, and in the neighborhoods where these 15 millions kids were living, which would support this flood of new volunteers, and keep them engaged for the many years it takes to help a first grader living in a high poverty neighborhood become a 12th grader graduating from high school and headed for college or a job. 

I remember sitting in a meeting following the Summit, with a business leader sitting next to me. When I asked about the money needed to support added volunteers, I was told "we're focusing on volunteers, not philanthropy." 

You cannot have good volunteerism without good philanthropy! 

And in today's economy, when many of the small non profits who are working with inner city kids are struggling to find operating dollars to keep existing staff employed, how can you expect them to ramp up programs to support more volunteers in significant efforts that can lead to a victory over poverty? (That was my question in 2009, amidst the financial crisis. The same concern is in 2021, amidst the Covid19 crisis.)

I've focused on the planning process since starting the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in 1993. And, I've created numerous visuals to focus on the steps needed to fill all high poverty areas with a wide range of needed, long-term solutions. That process always includes one focused on building and sustaining public will.  That was required to win World War 2, and it has been needed (but missing) in the War on Poverty since the 1960s.  

I pointed to this planning process in this 2014 D-Day article.  View the concept map below at this link.

No elected, or business or philanthropic leader that I'm aware of has used visual essays like these, and maps, to mobilize the army of talent needed to do all the work that's needed.  Thus, we still have embedded poverty in Chicago and other cities, and in many rural areas. 

In this Tweet I point to a map showing massacres of Black Americans extending back to the 1860s. The killing of George Floyd and following attention to racial justice and systemic efforts to keep Black and Brown Americans as second class citizens, invites new investigation into this history.  I have been building a section of links to articles about Black History and Racial Justice in my web library and this concept map points to several sub sections.

Good planning requires in-depth reading.  Without a broader understanding of history, we don't fully understand why we've failed for so many years to win the War on Poverty

States and local governments can pass laws that prevent teaching this history in schools. But as long as the Internet remains available they cannot prevent people from finding and learning from this information. 

I call again for the current President to use his bully pulpit to call on faith leaders, business leaders, civic and social groups, to reach out to volunteer based organizations like those I show on this list of Chicago area volunteer-based tutor and/or mentor programs,  with flexible operating dollars that they need to pay the rent, insurance and staff expenses. 

There's still time to point to web libraries and forums where people can gather and learn.  

 Remember:  "people can achieve extraordinary things when given the proper tools."

We can make sure that when these volunteers hit the beach they succeed, and they stay involved until we win this war.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Planning Cycle for Youth Tutor Mentor Programs

In my latest newsletter I included some screen shots of posts made on Twitter by Chicago area tutor/mentor programs. Many were announcing end of year celebrations on ZOOM and inviting others to join in ... and make donations to help them continue their work for another year.

It's now June and in a short two months school will start again. Hopefully it's face-to-face for most kids but continues virtually for those who thrived in that environment due to many different factors.

This also means that those site-based tutor and/or mentor programs who have been virtual for most of 2020-21 are now doing the planning needed to start face-to-face activities again.  I've not seen enough reports talking about how the past year has impacted volunteer and student retention. 

I have seen articles showing how Chicago has become more split between affluent and low-income. I wrote an article a few weeks ago asking some questions of how this changes how volunteers and youth connect in site-based non-school programs.

To support planning for those starting new programs, or improving existing programs I'm sharing three presentations from my library that I hope will be useful. 

Steps to Start a Tutor/Mentor Program

Operating Principles for a Volunteer-Based Tutor/Mentor Program

Year-Round Planning Calendar - For use by leaders and organizers

These are three of several dozen visual essays that I've created over the past 20 years, sharing my own experiences in leading two volunteer based tutor/mentor programs from 1975 to 2011.  Both are still operating.

You can find my complete collection of essays at this page on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC website. (Note. If some of the links to PDFs on SlideShare do not go directly to the presentation, use this link and find the presentation you're looking for.  I updated about half of these in early 2021 and that broke the old links.)

I urge you to use these to start discussions in your own organization and/or community. Use them in high school or college courses to teach students to become leaders and/or supporters of long-term, mentor-rich programs.  Create and share your own interpretations.   Visit this Intern blog to see how students from various colleges did this type of work between 2005 and 2015. 

Thank you for reading and sharing my articles.  I hope you'll reach out and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. See links here.

If you value this information please consider supporting it with a small contribution. Visit this page to find a PayPal donation button. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Why Dishonor Fallen Heroes?

Memorial Day 2021 -  This year is different from every past Memorial Day.   
While we continue to honor those brave men and women who have given their lives to defend and preserve American democracy, we dishonor their efforts by not uncovering and prosecuting the full level of conspiracy behind the attack on the United States Capital on January 6th of this year.

I hope that by this time next year this will have changed. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Inspired by Edison; Inspired by Others.

In my Twitter feed today I came across a post by Emlyn Cameron, containing a podcast essay that he wrote following the death in 2020, of his father, Charles Cameron.  

I met Charles in the Social Edge forum in the mid 2000s and through conversations that he hosted there we developed a strong relationship that continued until his death.  I did a search on my blog to see what I had posted that pointed to these conversations

Since the Social Edge forum has not been active for the past decade I had to use the Internet archive to find links to some of the articles I had put in my blog prior to 2010.  This led me to do some searching for articles including "Social Edge" and I found a couple using this graphic and the idea of Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb, then an industry to distribute light to every home.

Here's a 2008 article where I showed how this conversation on Social Edge about design thinking included this paragraph:

"Thomas Edison created the electric lightbulb and then wrapped an entire industry around it. Edison’s genius lay in his ability to conceive of a fully developed marketplace, not simply a discrete device. He was able to envision how people would want to use what he made, and he engineered toward that insight."  

In an earlier article from 2006, I wrote this “After Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he had to invent an industry to put light bulbs in every home. Imagine what it might have been like trying to think of every thing needed to make that happen, and not having much of a blueprint to follow. 

I wonder how many are thinking like Edison, of all of the actions needed to end poverty and racism in America, or the world. For volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring to be part of the lives of more youth living in high poverty neighborhoods, and to stay engaged until each youth is starting a job/career, we need to be just as creative, and persistent as leaders like Edison and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. 

We need to build an industry that can provide the ideas, dollars, advertising, tech support and leadership needed by CBOs in every neighborhood in every big city. We need to make these resources continuously available for many years at thousands of tutor, mentor and learning programs in Chicago, in Detroit, New York and Los Angeles, and in every major cities around the world."

Since starting this blog in 2005 I've written hundreds of articles using maps to emphasize  the need for well-organized, mentor-rich youth programs in every high poverty neighborhood.  And I've used concept maps to visualize the team of talented people who need to be helping each program grow, as well as the many different types of mentoring, tutoring and learning each program needs to over, over many years. 

As we head into another weekend and a new month I repeat these messages.  I invite you to read some of my articles then share them with people in your network.  Become the leader of groups who "think like Edison" and envision the "fully developed marketplace" of learning and enrichment opportunities needed in every high poverty area of the country.

Start conversations like this one hosted by Charles Cameron on Social Edge, in 2010. Its title was "Theory of Change: A Collaborative Tool?"  Share the conversation on Twitter, LinkedIN and Facebook so I and others can find it and join in.  That's what drew me to Charles back in 2005.

Thanks for reading and thank you for sharing.  If you are able to help me pay the bills please visit this page and use the PayPal button to send a small contribution. 

If you'd like my help understanding the ideas I'm sharing let's schedule a ZOOM call.  

Monday, May 24, 2021

Predicted skills shortage by 2030

If you've read many of my blog articles you've seen this graphic, or a version of it.  It shows a goal of helping kids born or living in poverty areas move through school and into adult lives, with skills and networks that enable them to have meaningful, decent-paying jobs, that enable them to raise their own kids free from the grip of poverty.

In this article I want to focus on skills. And habits.

Below is a Tweet that I commented on this week.  I was listening to Patrick T. Harker of The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, on a  @washingtonpost live event. He was talking about an impending skills shortage in workforce.  

Earlier that day I had received an email from Dr. Ed Gordon, of Imperial Corp. Consulting, with his latest White Paper, talking about the expected skills shortage. So I shared Ed's article in the Tweet, I hope readers will be interested enough to take a look at the video and Ed's White Paper.

Disclosure: I've known Ed since the early 2000s. For a few years he served on the Advisory Council of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. So he's been writing about this for more than 20 years.  

So, what does it take to help kids develop skills and learning habits that would enable them to succeed in school (and meet business needs for skilled workers)?   What motivates some kids to develop learning habits, while others seem indifferent?  Educators have been struggling with this for decades.

Which comes first? Habits. Or skills?  

Earlier this week my #clmooc network of educators shared a TED talk delivered by Laura Ritchie with an invitation to view her presentation and comment on it, using Vialogues.   Laura's message of skill development was one of self-agency, "Yes, I can." was the message.

As I watched her TED talk, I thought back to the Illinois Wesleyan Commencement address which I watched on May 2.  Geisha Williams, the first Latina CEO of a Fortune 200 was the speaker and her message was "Why not Me?"  

I posted this Tweet with links to both.
This is the challenge.  All kids need to have the "Yes, I can" and "Why not me?" internal engines driving their learning.  In the tutor/mentor programs  I led from 1975-2011, the goal was to stimulate this thinking through the volunteer tutors and mentors we matched with kids and through the activities the program offered.  At best, this was "hit and miss" with no "silver bullet" success that reached every participant.

I created this concept map several years ago to visualize the many different systemic barriers that kids in poverty have to overcome as they move through school and into adult lives.  Volunteers and organized non-school programs are one resource that can help kids and families overcome these challenges, and my mission for the past 28 years has been to try to help such programs grow in more places.

However, the need to instill the "Yes, I can" and "Why not me?" spark in every child, reaches beyond poverty.   Instilling in kids the habits, motivations, of learning is the challenge. Some kids seem to have this naturally, or it has been modeled for them by parents, siblings, neighborhoods, since birth.  

What can we learn from others?  The web library I've been building since the early 1990s is an attempt to aggregate information that anyone can use to try to understand the challenges facing youth, parents and educators and to learn how some people are addressing those challenges.  If an idea is working in one place, why not borrow it and apply it to many places?

This concept map shows the four main sections of my library. Click on small boxes  under each node to dig deeper. 

I've been trying to make it easier for people to navigate my library for more than 20 years.  I wrote this article last November, talking about learning libraries.  I included the World Economic Forum (WEF) library as an example of what's possible. Below is a section that focuses on "Education and Skills".

When we created the first Tutor/Mentor Connection website in the late 1990s we  used the hub/spoke design on the home page to help people navigate to different sections of the library.  In the year's since I've seen other websites with this design feature, but have never been able to build that into my own library.

Thus, I keep pointing to what others are doing, and the information they host.  These are just a few of the many, many libraries of information available to help people find better ways to help children become life-long learners, constantly supported by the "Yes, I can" and "Why not me?" internal motivations.

Finding time to dig into this information, make sense of it, then apply it in one or many places is a huge challenge.  The graphic below shows a strategy I've recommended for many years.

The information available to everyone is represented by the circle at the right side of the graphic. Below the big circle are smaller circles, representing places where small groups of people can discuss the information in the library.  To the left of the big circle are two graphics, representing what each person can do to encourage others to look at the information and join the discussion.

If you share this article in your social media you're taking the "YOU" role.  If you start a discussion of this article in your faith group, workplace, fraternity, and/or family network, you're taking a deeper role.

If you discover other resources, such as more useful platforms/libraries, and you share them with me so I can add them to the Tutor/Mentor library, you're taking an even greater role.

If you do these steps regularly, perhaps we can get closer to answers that are used in thousands of places.  That's the goal.

I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIN. I look forward to connecting with you.