Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Call to Action following youth beating. Call for Leadership.

In today's SunTimes, Stella Foster's column is a "CALL TO ACTION". The article says "where was the security at the Agape Youth Center?", "where were the police?", "where were the parents?", and "what are the schools doing to keep kids safe?"

Above is the map the T/MC created to show where this tragedy took place. You can read the story that goes with this on the Mapping for Justice blog.

I ask, where are the business leaders, political leaders, faith leaders, media, hospital and university leaders? What are people in the suburbs doing, who drive past these poverty neighborhoods every day as the come and go to work?

If you read the articles I've written on this blog, I've been asking for this type of leadership for many years. This is the front page of the SunTimes in October 1992, when Dantrell Davis was killed as he walked to school. How many times in the years since then have leaders and media been pointing to places where volunteers and donors could be surrounding kids with different hopes and aspirations and future opportunities than what they see modeled in their neighborhoods? Not enough.

What are the media doing to point readers to resources they can use, every day, to help programs like Agape have the funds needed to pay for security, or to even operate in these neighborhoods?

Other than getting involved with a few high profile programs, where else are readers being pointed to by this article? If it included a link to the Mapping for Justice blog, or the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, the article could have been teaching people to use maps to choose what part of the city they want to get involved with, and what programs in each area they want to help with time, talent, and DOLLARS.

If the media were pointing to the maps, and strategy maps that show actions leaders can take, and long-term goals of their involvement, then the stories would lead to more and better involvement in all neighborhoods where poverty breeds the type of violence that randomly appears in the city throughout the year.

In advertising and religion, leaders know they need to communicate every day to potential customers, and they need to draw those customers to stores, churches, temples, and mosques in many places.

Surely we can teach leaders that if we want to change what is happening in inner city neighborhoods we need to put non-school programs in multiple locations, and use advertising and other store-support strategies to draw volunteers and donors and good ideas to every one of these places on an on-going basis.

Who can help us get this message out more often? Who can help us find the money to keep making these maps, and publishing this blog?

Click here if you want to help.

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