Monday, May 13, 2013

This map of Chicago is same for ALL of us

I've been creating maps like this one for almost 20 years in an effort to mobilize on-going support from volunteers and leaders in every sector of business, religion, media, entertainment, education and leadership.

The goal is to support the actions of third-party leadership, intermediaries, and network-builders who would mobilize the resources that every volunteer-based tutor/mentor program in the Chicago region (or any other urban area) needs to constantly improve their impact on youth and the volunteers who become part of their organizations.

I've created graphics like this to illustrate the role leaders can take in pointing people in their networks to programs in different places. See more of these in my library on Pinterest. Read other articles in this blog, or in this library of articles on Scribd to see how these graphics are included in information I share on a regular basis.

I've hosted a Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference every six months since 1994 and have been featured in numerous media stories, like this Crain's article.

It seems logical to me that if we want to provide extra help to youth in high poverty neighborhoods, we need places in the non-school hours where youth can connect with volunteers, technology and extra learning. If we agree that this is true, then we should find hundreds of leaders in the Chicago region writing articles like mine, pointing to maps like mine, with the same goals of helping every neighborhood have great, and constantly improving, tutor/mentor programs.

If that were happening the conference I host on June 7 at the Metcalfe Federal Building would have more than 200 attendees rather than the 70 to 80 who have attended the past few conferences.

If leaders from every sector had been sharing the role of network-building with me for the past 20 years, we might have network analysis tools showing thousands of people from every sector involved in on-going learning and working like a "virtual corporate office" to support hundreds of different tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other cities. I was at a Great Cities event at UIC almost 10 years ago where issues of poverty were being discussed. Someone asked "If this has been going on for so long, how come so little has changed." The speaker gave an answer that I've heard often.

He said "Too few people really care."

Is the logic model I share unrealistic? Share your comments. Why are so few leaders mirroring what I do, pointing to maps of Chicago the way I do? Or pointing to the maps I host on my web sites?

If you agree with the logic, why not come to the June 7 Conference and begin to work with me and others on a 2013-14 school year calendar of events. When we get to the conference in May/June 2014 we should be celebrating the work others are doing to help build a city of constantly improving youth tutoring, mentoring and learning programs.

View Interactive Program Locator, Map Gallery and PDF showing how to make your own maps.

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