Sunday, November 15, 2015

Keeping focus amid a world on fire

Over the past 22 years I've used maps and visualizations frequently in my newsletters and blog articles to communicate ideas that mobilize more people, around a wider based of information, on a more consistent basis. Yet, the goal remains to help inner-city kids connect with a network of extra adults who are concerned about their well-being and their futures.

I continue to maintain a list of non-school youth serving organizations operating in the Chicago region. This year I also started to host a Facebook list, showing Chicago youth serving orgs with Facebook pages. Browse the list. Offer your help to one, or many.

Keeping focus on this mission has been challenged frequently, and unexpectedly, starting with the 9/11 attack on America, and continuing through this past weekend with the terror attacks on Paris, a Russian airliner, a college in Kenya, and in Beirut, Lebanon, along with many lesser known places. Since 2001 world events, environmental tragedies, and cyclical political campaigns have consistently disrupted the day-to-day work I and others do to help make the world a safer, better place for everyone to live and raise families.

This graphic illustrates that while I focus on helping kids living in urban poverty have support systems of mentors, tutors and extra learning in non-school hours be available in more places where they are needed, I realize there are other issues that also require day-to-day attention, which are also disrupted with every natural and man-made disaster that interrupts our daily activities.

My heart bleeds and I shed tears when I read of the carnage of terror attacks. It also bleeds when I see refugees drowning at sea or dying in the American Southwest as they seek entry into the US. I am angry every day when I open my paper and read about shootings taking lives in Chicago neighborhoods and every time I read about local, national and corporate corruption and greed that causes these problems or lets them exist.

I wrote about this in 2005 and again in 2011. Here are some other related articles.

Let's honor the victims by giving extra effort to the work that needs to be done.

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