Thursday, January 19, 2006

After the Holiday, what's next

Tuesday's Chicago Tribune front page headline was "Suburban murders escalating". A map was included, that showed high murder rates in suburbs surrounding Chicago (Waukegan, Elgin, Aurora, Joliet, Cicero, Calumet City, Chicago Heights). The article talked about how poor people and street gangs are moving from the city because of the high costs of housing and how this growth in crime is a big problem for suburban police forces.

In the lower right corner of the paper was a 2" section saying "Martin Luther King remembered". Unfortunately, there was not connection between these two stories. There was nothing on the editorial pages to encourage people to get involved in making Dr. King's vision a reality so that the high crime rates caused by concentrated poverty could be reduced.

While we'd like the media who reach several hundred thousand readers each day to provide constant focus on this issue, it seems that it's up to us who connect via the Internet to make this happen.

In the Discussion forum of the discussions focus on the various skills that every tutor/mentor program must master to be successful in long-term efforts to connect youth and adults with the result that by age 25 youth are starting jobs. In the Links, there are links to web sites that provide ideas for such discussions.

For instance, in the Philanthropy section is a link to a site that focuses on a discussion of general operating grants vs project funding from foundations. This is a critically important issue for tutor/mentor programs because of our need for flexibility in responding to the needs of kids, and our need for continuity in what we do.

Imagine a parent giving birth to a child and three years later saying, "you go find a new parent now". That's what happens when a foundation helps a youth program get started and connect with a kid, then after one, two or a few years says, "I cannot fund you any longer."

If these kids live in a high poverty neighborhood this means that he/she is more likely to recycle in a life of poverty than be reborn in the land of milk and honey with a job and a career and an ability to raise a family.

If the media don't connect the negative news and the positive news and actions people can take to end poverty, we need to find ways to do it on the internet media.

Add your link to the T/MC site, or be part of the Non Profit Blog Exchange that is being hosted at

We need to find ways to keep this conversation going every day, not just one day every year.

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