Wednesday, April 10, 2013

$50 million business commitment to anti violence. Is this ownership?

I encourage you to read the column by Phil Rosenthal in the Business Section of today's Chicago Tribune, titled "Business Makes Fighting Crime their Business".

The final paragraph says "This (crisis) didn't happen all at once. This happened failure by failure. Here we are 30-some years later and we're in a bad p lace. We need to take ownership for making it better."

This sounds like the front page editorial on October 15, 1992 Chicago SunTimes after 7-year old Dantrell Davis was shot while going to school. I've kept this front page as a reminder for my own responsibility, and have shared it often in my outreach in an effort to encourage business, political and philanthropic leaders to adopt a long-term responsibility for building and supporting birth to work programs that offer alternatives to gangs and violence, and more paths to jobs and careers. see article

So while business leaders are being asked to contribute $50 million to Chicago's anti violence program I urge you to review and adopt the commitment and strategy shown below.

To signal your commitment and share your leadership strategy, create a version of this strategy map, with your name in the box at the top, and post this on your web site, with links to the Tutor/Mentor Institute Chicago Crime Lab and other resources that people can learn from -- and connect with -- in supporting this long-term war on poverty and inner city violence.

Rather than a single leader, the city and country need many leaders, each innovating ways to mobilize resources to support the infrastructure and operations of a wide range of youth tutoring, mentoring, learning and jobs programs in communities where they do business, not just where the corporate office is located.

I've written countless articles showing strategy, leadership, network building, learning, etc since starting this blog in 2005. If you devote resources within your company to building your own strategy to support your commitment, I hope some of your leaders will read and reflect on some of these ideas, then put the ones that work for you into your own efforts.

Twenty years from now we can have another column like the one Phil Rosenthal wrote today, or a different one showing a city with a wide range of programs in every poverty neighborhood, each telling stories of young people who have gone through the programs and now work at the companies that made this possible.

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