Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We are dependent on one another.

In last Sunday's Chicago Tribune I saw a Perspective written by Clarence Wood and Bruce Hatton Boyer. The title was GETTING REAL: Post-World War II vision of the American dream -- it's over.

I encourage you to read and reflect on this.

One conclusion of the article was "we need to understand that the new minority in this country is defined not be skin color or religion but by bank balances. People are not poor because they are Latino or African-American or Caucasian. They are poor because they have not had the right opportunities to advance themselves. And they will remain poor until we decide to give them the schools and community organizations they need – everywhere, not just the ones in our comfortable suburbs."

It went on to say "We cannot continue to ignore our inner cities because rebuilding them also helps our affluent suburbs by shifting our precious economic resources towards future ventures."

It ended with "In short, we must face the fact that we are dependent on one another – governmental bodies, not-for-profits, corporations and small businesses as well as the arts and cultural communities. We always have been and always will be. If we don’t get over our ideological rigidities and roll up our sleeves, we will fall into the trap Benjamin Franklin acknowledged as he signed the Declaration of Independence. “Well, gentlemen, we must now all hang together, or we will surely all hang separately.”"

Then, also take a look at this blog article on the Seattle Social Ventures Partners site. It's titled "The Old Way to Collaborate. Where do Communities fit in?"

This includes this statement: "Nobody wins unless everybody wins. Collective impact is sustained by balancing individual organizations’ self-interest with shared interests. Collectives that build a solid foundation of trust and mutual benefit from their shared efforts are more likely to maintain commitment to the group and reinforce activities that meet the group’s objectives."

Doesn't this sound familiar to what Clarence Wood is saying? This Tutor/Mentor Connection video shows how a tutor/mentor program is a collective action, involving the volunteers, students, staff, leaders and donors in a common goal.

This video shows events organized by the Tutor/Mentor Connection since 1994, intended to draw leaders, volunteers and donors from throughout the Chicago region together in collective actions where WE ALL WIN and every poverty neighborhood benefits.

The May 19 and 20 conference in Matteson, Illinois is part of this event strategy. If you attend, or send a contribution to help pay for the event, you're making a statement of support for this collective effort. You're helping provide a spark that moves us from the end of this school year to the start of the next.

Everyone who reads this can be the spark of a chain reaction that reaches people throughout the Chicago region, and the rest of the world. Take that role daily and we can create a new future beyond what is now forecast for us.

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