Last night I saw the first step of that dream achieved.
great teams of volunteers, donors, program leaders, youth and others who work to help young people move from a birth in poverty, to an adult life free of poverty.
I hope you'll spend some time thinking about this as you read countless media stories about how the owners of the Chicago Cubs built the team that is now headed to the World Series.
As you do, look at graphics that I've used to visualize "total quality mentoring" and support systems.
Over the past 40 years I've been building a library, with a wide range of information, intended to answer one question: "What are all the things we need to know, and do, to assure that every child born or living in a high poverty neighborhood is starting a job/career by his/her mid 20's.?"
Social Impact Research Center Report on Illinois Poverty. The report is full of maps showing where poverty is most concentrated.
If you browse articles on this blog, and on the MappingforJustice blog, you'll find many more maps, and web sites with indicators of where youth, families and schools need extra help, for many years.
Using concept maps, systems thinking tools, and other visualization tools, teams working in many places could be developing a set of shared maps, that show with greater and greater depth what it takes to help young people and families overcome poverty and segregation, and roles anyone can take to help such supports be available in one or more high poverty neighborhoods of the world.
Thus, as you look at the graphics I'm sharing, including this one which shows signatures of NFL and MLB greats, think of ways to build teams in businesses, faith groups, colleges, and social/civic groups, who do the behind the scenes work of understanding where great tutor/mentor programs are needed, what it takes to design, build, and sustain a "mentor rich, Total Quality Mentoring" program reaching K-12 youth in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago and other cities, as well as in rural areas and Tribal lands throughout the country.
While sports is a competitive business, that seeks to produce one champion, helping youth through school and into careers requires thinking that produces winning teams in thousands of locations.
The spokes of the Total Quality Mentoring chart point to different industry sectors, where companies compete for customers and market share, trying to be the best in their field, just like sports teams compete to be the best.
This work of reducing poverty, racism and inequality requires the involvement of many people, for many years, and in many places.
As I meet people in different events that I attend in Chicago, or in on-line events, I encourage them to visit my blogs and web site and spent time, on an on-going basis, reading and reflecting on the ideas I share. The tag cloud above shows topics I've focused on in blog articles written since 2005. Note the emphasis on planning, leadership, network building, learning and visualization.
These are all part of what needs to be understood and applied in actions that build great youth support teams and make them available in all high poverty neighborhoods.
I hope the Cubs path to a World Series Championship inspires you and your team to look into some of these ideas.