Saturday, June 06, 2009

Shooting outside DuSable High School

Today's page 2 headline in the Chicago SunTimes was "This is not the Wild, Wild West" which was a quote from Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Wies following a shooting in broad daylight that left one young man dead, and another wounded. This map shows where DuSable High School is located in the South part of Chicago, just Northwest of the affluent Hyde Park neighborhood.

Using the Tutor/Mentor Interactive Program Locator I created a new map, showing this same area, but showing the level of poverty and poorly performing schools in the area. An X on my map shows where DuSable Leadership Academy is showing (note - this school does not show up on my list of 2008 poorly performing high schools, yet the area has a high degree of poverty.)

On the Interactive maps, we can show assets in the area, such as businesses, faith groups, universities, who could be working pro-actively to help tutor/mentor programs grow in this area. Our map shows only one small program near the DuSable Academy, operating at a branch library.

Our interactive maps can also show political districts, so we see that DuSable Leadership Academy is in the 5th Legislative District, which runs from the Cabrini Green area in the North Loop, all the way South to include this high school. We created a set of maps for this district and posted them on our MappingforJustice blog back in January. I even sent a copy to Ken Dunkin, the representative for the 5th District.

On the TV news last night, I heard one parent say "kids need more mentoring" to build positive habits and avoid gangs. If there are no programs in the district where that is happening, and if our leaders are not working to make such programs available, we'll keep seeing headlines like this.

I wrote an article after another shooting, titled ENOUGH is ENOUGH I hope that our elected leaders, media, business and faith leaders will take some time to read it, then incorporate these ideas, and our maps, into their own leadership.

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