Friday, July 21, 2017

Combating Chicago Violence - Influencing Actions

Yesterday I viewed an archive of an anti-violence discussion hosted by the City Club of Chicago.  I posted some of my ideas to the Twitter feed, such as this Tweet, and this Tweet.

I'm more convinced than ever that if we want to address the root causes of violence and poverty in Chicago we need comprehensive, long-term solutions that influence what people beyond poverty neighborhoods do, using their time, talent, dollars, jobs and votes.

I created this graphic several years ago to illustrate this idea.  You can see it described in this article, this pdf presentation, and this video.

Making change happen is a process.   In my articles I use maps, showing high poverty areas throughout Chicago, with the goal that groups of people from many sectors will join in a learning and planning process that begins to fill each area with a range of needed services that help young people move through school and into jobs and careers free from poverty.  The map below visualizes this process.

 Planning Cycle:
Making change happen is a long-term process, thus recruiting leaders who will fuel that process with dollars, talent, visibility and network building skills is essential to support the planning process and build and sustain the public will needed in such efforts.

I've written a couple of articles in the past inviting wealthy philanthropists to support this process, such as this one.

Then, in my Facebook feed yesterday, I saw this article about John Arnold, who created The John Arnold Foundation (TJAF) in the mid 2000s.  If I read the article correctly, TJAF does its own research and seeks out projects it wants to support.  

I've occasionally had donors find me as a result of their own internet search.  One of those resulted in a $50k anonymous donation in late 2007 that enabled me to build the interactive Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator in 2008-09.  

Unfortunately that did not result in repeat donations which ultimately led to the need to create the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011 to try to keep the program locator and other resources of the Tutor/Mentor Connection available to Chicago and other cities.  I've not been able to update the program locator since 2013.

But, this is not about me.
View TQM pdf

It's about filling high poverty neighborhoods with programs that bring a wide range of needed support to youth and families, which if supported continuously for many years, will help reduce violence, income disparities and poverty by helping more young people move to jobs and careers.

I'm not just writing theory. I've continued to maintain a list of Chicago non-school tutor and mentor programs, which I started building in 1993*, which is available at this link.  The donor who gave my organization $50k in 2007 also gave a similar amount to two other Chicago tutor/mentor programs, using my data about programs to find and investigate programs that were later funded.

School is starting again soon. Multi millionaires are running for Governor of Illinois. Many others are active in all sorts of philanthropy. Do your research. Get to know the programs on my list. Let the web site of an organization be its proposal. Reach out with offers of help to programs in many neighborhoods, not just to a few high profile programs.  If you're not in Chicago and no one is maintaining a list of programs, then you can help someone start a T/MC type organization in your own community. 

As you're doing your research, read this article, which I posted earlier this week. Take a visible role and motivate other leaders to duplicate your own efforts. 

*I actually started building a list of Chicago tutor/mentor programs in 1975 when I started leading a local program and was searching for ideas that I could borrow to support my own efforts. By building a list, and a library, I began to share ideas that anyone could use to help make mentor-rich programs available in more places.  I've been doing this for over 40 years.

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