Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Poor, and the Hopeless, don't Vote. How do we change that?

I'm in more than a few on-line discussions. I'd like to point to two.  In one, Mark Sims, who I've been connected to via on-line media for several years, posted a recent article with the headline of "African Americans Left Behind". Go to the blog and read his description of the problem and Marc's requests for solutions, and see the ideas I posted.

That led to some Facebook interaction in which Marc shared a link to this video: It's from 2008, but it captures the current struggle to close the wealth and opportunity gaps in America.





The video reminded me of another article I added to Tutor/Mentor web library recently, titled:  Race and Beyond: Why Young, Minority, and Low-Income Citizens Don’t Vote

Watch the video. Read the article. Read more of the research, from this section of my web library




The second conversation is one I've been having for more than a year with Terry Elliott, Kevin Hodgson and other educators who I've connected with via on-line cMOOCs, such as the Making Learning Connected (#CLMOOC) and Digital Writing Month (#digiwrimo) MOOCS.  

The graphic above was from this article, showing how Terry, Kevin and I had been adding comments to visualizations created by each other during the 2015 CLMOOC. Recently I posted an article asking "What are all the things we need to know and do to assure that youth born, or living in poverty today, are starting jobs and careers by their mid-twenties?"

In that article I posted some comments by Terry, and a link to an annotation of one of my articles, done using Diigo.com

Today, I read a new article that Kevin had posted recently, under the title Entry Points in the Interaction Universe, in which he talks about how difficult it is to build and sustain a learning community.

Marc emphasizes how poor people don't like to read, and don't do much reading, which, perhaps, is one reason they don't vote and don't have many chances to move up the opportunity ladder and out of poverty.  

My response to Marc:

The ideas I've shared for the past 25 years, and the work I did prior to that in leading a tutor/mentor program at the Montgomery Ward headquarters, was aimed at getting people who do read, and write, and who have jobs and careers, and who don't live in poverty, more engaged and involved in the lives of kids, so more would become active evangelists, like I am, in building  communities of people who work toward helping the poor build the learning and education skills and habits needed to be more capable of overcoming the challenges they face.

Getting people to look at the ideas I share is as difficult as what Kevin is trying to do.  

Normally at this time of the year I post a "New Year's message" of hope and responsibility, and point to some past articles I'd like you to read.

In my response to Marc I included a link to this article, which includes a link to an address to graduates of West Point military academy, encouraging each to spend time in deep reflection and learning. 

Using the Diigo annotation tool that Terry Elliott introduced me to, I've created two sets of blog articles that I hope you'll take some time to browse.

a) year end articles since 2005 -- click here

b) Use of concept maps to communicate ideas and strategy -- click here



This is a lot to look at. However, we won't solve complex problems without a few people making this commitment to deeper learning.

In most of these articles I'm focusing on the power, and responsibility, each of us has to try to engage others in this conversation.

Together we have the power to make the world a better place for everyone, not just the wealth 1%.

I'll see you in 2016

1 comment:

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Here's an April 2016 Stanford Social Innovation Review article discussing low voter turnout and options for building increased participation. http://ssir.org/articles/entry/increasing_voter_turnout_what_if_anything_can_be_done#