Monday, April 22, 2013

Class War in America?

As we begin to celebrate National Volunteer Week, I share this video which I watched earlier today. The gaps between rich and poor are wider than ever in America. When I talk about volunteering in a tutor/mentor program, I'm not just talking about how that helps kids rise from poverty through education and expanded networks, I'm describing a strategy that connects people beyond poverty, in on-going, personal interactions, that help build understanding, empathy and a commitment to change.

In Chicago there are more than 600,000 youth between age 5 and 19 and half live in poverty. The total youth served in all of the existing tutor/mentor programs is probably less than 5% of this number and the distribution of programs in different neighborhoods is poor. As you reflect on this video, take a look at this list of organizations. Find one or two that you can support with your time, talent and dollars so that we find ways to reach more kids, and engage more adults. It's one strategy that can lead to more people involved in closing the inequality gaps.

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