Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ex-U.S. Attorney says "reach young kids before gangs do"

I don't know if any of you read the letter outgoing U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon wrote, which was in the Chicago SunTimes on Tuesday. Among his recommendations for combating violence he said
"there should be a "place" in each afflicted neighborhood dedicated to reaching young kids before gangs do.  Brick and mortor. Create a place. Call it anything."
That's what I've been saying for the past 24 years.  Some of those "places" should be organized, well-supported, well-designed, long-term, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs. They do exist in some places, but not in many other places.

 Last Sunday, March 12, the Chicago Tribune featured a story about one of these neighborhoods that needs those "places".   I wrote about it on the MappingforJustice blog, showing how leaders could use maps as part of an analysis, mobilization and planning tool intended to help existing programs in the neighborhood get the resources, talent, ideas, etc. that each needs to be better able to compete against gangs by offering hope and opportunity.

I included maps showing the neighborhood, existing programs, and some of the assets.

I hope you'll read that story, and hundreds of similar stories that I've posted on my blogs since 2005 (and on web sites and in printed newsletters before then) and apply the ideas to every high poverty neighborhood.  

Now that Mr. Fardon is 'unemployed' I hope he'll read this too, along with articles I've written in the past week about a "do-over" for Tutor/Mentor Connection.  He's the type of leader needed to mobilize others and provide high level visibility and support for the growth of a new Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago and other cities.

If you know him, I invite you to share this article.

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