Monday, November 02, 2015

Read my Lips. Remember that phrase?

I've been submitting guest blogs to the I-Open Network blog, and yesterday submitted a new article that started with "Repeat after Me". My articles are a collaboration. What I submit is reformatted, and edited, reflecting the understanding and goals of I-0pen. They do a good job.

I use a variety of graphics and maps in my article, to illustrate the need for long-term support for kids living in high poverty areas. Such support needs to be age appropriate, and accessible. In big cities that means hundreds of programs are needed, spread out into different parts of the city and suburbs...where ever the map shows a need for extra support.

This is just one example showing this as a process that starts as early as pre-school and continues for 15-20 years, or until students are in jobs and beginning to build careers. It reflects the "who you know" as equally important to "what you know" and emphasizes that volunteers who connect with youth as tutors, mentors, coaches and friends can become part of an extended family network, helping kids as they grow up, and helping them get interviews into jobs and career opportunities as they begin their adult lives.

I don't see many people writing about this long-term process, or emphasizing the proactive role that leaders in business, government, philanthropy and other sectors need to take on an on-going basis to help high quality programs become available in every high poverty neighborhood, then stay available for a decade or longer.

Thus, efforts like I-0pen, that share my ideas through their own network, are really important. This could be happening more often in Chicago, and it could be happening in every city of the country, led by many different leaders.

If you're interested in exploring ways to do this, you might become part of the Digital Writing Month event, that started yesterday. View the web site to see the goals and how to join (free). During the month I'm going to try to coach people in Chicago and across the country, to create their own versions of ideas I've launched on my blog, to share them with people in their own networks.

President George Bush, Sr. made the "Read My Lips" phrase famous as a "no new taxes" campaign pledge in 1988. I'd like to see thousands of leaders adopt this, with a goal of mobilizing millions of Americans to provide consistent, on-going support that helps economically disadvantaged youth from every city and state move more successfully through school and into adult jobs and careers beyond poverty.

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