Monday, September 05, 2016

How will you celebrate Labor Day? Finding Needle in Haystack.

I'll be watching the Cubs game, then spending time with family today, but will also be spending time on line, sharing ideas like this, and connecting with others who want to help reduce inequality and create a more just and democratic society.

I've been writing this blog since 2005, so every year about this time I've written something related to Labor Day and the start of a new school year. Click here to see some past articles.

As I post this, I also am a bit frustrated. In conversation with another branch of the family yesterday we talked about malware and hackers taking over your computer, and about how defenseless most of us are who don't have great tech skills, or great tech support budgets or networks.

However, one other comment really hit me, when one person said "Where do they find time to read all this stuff. Don't they have a job?"

While the Internet is full of ideas and potential friends and partners who might help you achieve your dreams of a better world, what if too few are actually spending time looking at this?

Prior to 1997 when I began to use the Internet to collect and share ideas, my network of support and partnership was limited to who I could find in the Chicago region.  While that's a huge market, it's still really difficult to find people who focus on helping  needed services grow in all high poverty neighborhoods, with themselves serving in an intermediary, third-party catalyst and capacity-building role.

Or, who are making an active effort to expand their own network, and will invite me, or my ideas, into their learning and planning process.

For more than 20 years, I've been motivated by articles like this, which was the front page of the Chicago Tribune in 1994, showing more than "240,000 kids in poverty's grip".

To reach these kids we need great k-12 non-school tutoring, mentoring, learning, jobs, etc. programs in every neighborhood highlighted on this map.

If you browse past articles of this blog, and the MappingforJustice blog, and printed newsletters from the 1990s, you'll see a constant use of maps to mobilize leaders and partners to support on-going actions that would drive needed talent, dollars, technology and ideas to every one of these neighborhoods.

While the "haystack" of Chicago may not have many "needles", every city in the USA, and the world, with a population of 1 million or more, likely faces the same problem of isolated, concentrated poverty, as does Chicago. Thus, if I search the world for partners, my "haystack" is much larger, and there are potentially more "needles" to be found, or who are already searching, and will find me.

If you're curious about what I'm talking about, I encourage you to browse past articles on my blogs and sections of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site.

Do what interns have done since 2005. As you browse my articles, create your own blog and your own visualizations and videos, so you can guide other people through this maze of ideas.

Maybe as we head into Labor Day 2017 we'll have built some connections that fill more poverty neighborhoods with programs needed to help k-12 youth move safely through school and into jobs and careers.

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