Thursday, July 07, 2011

Another shooting in Roseland

Today's Chicago SunTimes includes a half-page story about a nine-year old boy being shot in his back yard.

According to the SunTimes story there have been 114 weapons-related crimes committed in the last year within a half block radius of where this shooting took place.

What is going to change this?

I've written about the violence in Roseland and in Chicago many times in the past six years. The maps I include are from the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, which hosts a directory of non-school tutor/mentor programs operating in different parts of the city.

My intention is to follow up "bad news" media with a much more consistent call to action that recruits volunteers, leaders, donors from the suburbs and the city to help a wider range of volunteer-based, k-12, tutor/mentor programs become available in more parts of Roseland and other areas where poverty reduces the range of opportunities and activities available to youth in the area and gives a wide open path for gangs and negative influences to expand.

My stories alone will not raise the type of visibility needed to change the flow of resources and the availability of high-quality non-school learning and mentoring centers. However, anyone can use the Program Locator to create their own map-stories. This guide shows how.

When students and volunteers from high schools, colleges, businesses and faith groups begin to use these maps and create their own stories we will create an orchestra of voices that will have the collective weight of a U2 Concert, and a collective impact on the growth of programs in all high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities with similar problems.

The Program Locator is available to everyone but it is currently funded by no one. If your company or philanthropy want to help us keep this resource available for Chicago and share it with other cities we need your financial investment. Email Dan Bassill at if you want to offer your help.

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