Monday, June 18, 2012

Maps, Media & Leadership

I hosted another Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference in Chicago last Thursday. 70 people attended. I've been hosting these since May 1994. Space was donated by First Unitarian Church in Hyde Park. Help was provided by Becoming We the People and several volunteers. Money was provided by a sponsorship by NobleHour.

The photo is part of several taken at the conference by Mina Song, an intern from IIT and Korea. See the slide show here.

I've shared maps like these at every conference since 1995. They emphasize the need to support the growth and operations of mentor-rich programs in every poverty neighborhood. They also emphasize the need for leadership and accountability in business, religion, universities, politics so that more people are taking an on-going role of making constantly-improving programs available in more neighborhoods.

In addition to maps I've also shared newspaper stories that highlight why mentor-rich programs are needed and ways volunteers, donors, students and leaders can act every day to support the growth of these programs.

This week more than 4500 people are gathering in Chicago for the annual National Conference on Volunteering and Service. I'll be attending tomorrow. However, with so many people and so many workshops, there will be little opportunity to connect with all of the people who need to be involved in building infrastructure and marketing strategies that support tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other cities.

I've been following Twitter comments using this link.

While were in the middle of June, my goal is to focus attention on what we might do in August to help mobilize more volunteers and what we might do in November to help raise visibility that increases year-end donations for all of the different programs operating in Chicago.

If teams of people in churches, businesses, political offices, schools, etc. would use this event chart to brainstorm ways they can use their time and talent to mobilize needed resources to support the growth of tutor/mentor programs, future conferences could become recognition events showcasing the best work done by organizations in each category.

I encourage you to spend time reading some of the articles posted here and that I've written in the past. If you use these to build your own leadership team and strategies we can be working collectively to make more programs available in the neighborhoods where highly concentrated poverty is a root cause of many social and educational problems.

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