Friday, August 22, 2014

9-Yr Old Executed. Rage in Short Supply

This image is from page 12 of today's Chicago Tribune, which is an article featured on the front page under the headline "Young Life Cut Short Along a Gang Divide".

This second image is from a today's John Kass column, on page 2 of the Chicago Tribune. The headline is "9-year-old boy is executed, but rage is in short supply.

I've written about the Woodlawn Community Area of Chicago in the past, both because of the violence and because it is one of the Promise Neighborhoods intended to support youth throughout the community area. I hope you'll browse some of these articles and see a pattern, and a strategy, that can respond to Kass's "where is the rage" question.

The map (below) is from a December 2011 article. The map shows the location of a shooting, and the location of New Beginnings Church.

In February 2014 (and often since 1994) I've posted stories showing how others can create map stories to "expand the supply of rage" and turn this into a supply chain supporting the growth of youth tutoring, mentoring, learning and jobs programs in high poverty areas.

Here's another based on today's story.

I created this map using the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator. It shows the location where the shooting took place, which is just South of the Woodlawn Community area, in the Greater Grand Crossing Community area. On this map I show community area boundaries, and the number of youth age 6-17 living below poverty in that area. I've been collecting information about Chicago volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs since 1993, and green stars on my maps show locations of programs. You can click on a star and get the program name, and double-click to go to their web site.

This next map is one that looks closer at the neighborhoods around where the shooting took place, and adds information about hospitals, businesses, universities, faith groups, etc. in the area. All of these groups could be connecting to support the growth of non-school tutor/mentor programs in the area. Read this story, which I wrote in 2009, to see that I've been sharing these maps with leaders of initiatives like the Woodlawn Promise Zone Initiative for many years. So far the strategies don't seem to have been adopted, or we would see a growing number of non-school tutor/mentor programs in the area.

While I've been creating map stories to draw attention and mobilize resources for tutor/mentor programs in high poverty neighborhoods since 1994, I'm like John the Baptist. I see a brighter future, but too few people are listening. While media tell these stories from time to time, and writers like Kass call on people to be involved, they don't do this every day, and when they do, they don't point readers to web sites where they can learn more, and find ways to get involved. When they do, they point to single locations, not locations all over the Chicago region.

In this graphic, posted in 2009, I show that while the media post stories every day related to the issues surrounding incidents of violence, they don't connect these stories in ways that point readers to many paths of involvement.

They don't get paid to do this and media don't make money focusing on good news. Thus, where's the solution.

In this article, I show how youth from schools throughout Chicagoland could be creating blog articles just like this one, and for the same purpose. This image is from one of several presentations done by interns working with me in past years.

Anyone can take on the intermediary role that connects people with ideas and brings them together to focus on actions that lead to solutions. Youth can do this.

If writers in various media outlets, and bloggers on social media, encourage young people to become activist and community mobilizers, and show them how to create map stories like this, we can build the reach and frequency, and evangelism, needed to build the supply of rage, and actions, needed over many years to reduce these problems in Chicago, and in other cities around the country.

Use the articles I've posted since 2005 as a lesson plan for creating such stories.

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