Friday, May 18, 2018

School Shooting Outrage - Is it greater because White kids are dying?

There was another school shooting today, this time at SantaFe High School in Texas. It's a tragedy and unless there is a massive voter turn-out in the November 2018 elections, then in following elections, to replace gun supporting legislators at the state and national level, nothing will be done.

Below is one of the Tweets that I've seen, demanding action on this.



This is signed by the Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health.  As I read it a question crept into my mind?  Most of the victims of the school shootings have been White kids. Is this now getting the attention it is getting because of that?

This was the front page of the October 15, 1992 Chicago SunTimes, following the killing of a 7-year old African American boy in Cabrini-Green.  The editorial writer says "It's everyone's responsibility" to keep this from happening.

I've a thick stack of news clippings from the past 26 years showing similar shootings taking the lives of Black and Brown Chicago kids on a regular basis.  While occasionally the editorial writers make this an issue, such as right now is happening with the 31 bullets campaign on the Chicago SunTimes web site, too few people have responded in ways that would change what's been happening mostly to poor kids.

I've been pleased to see that the Parkland High School students who lead the #MarchforourLives movement have been intentional in reaching out to urban youth and people of color to try to focus on the gun violence happening every day in big cities, and have encouraged a look at the root causes of these problems.  However, I don't see that on the policy goals on the MarchforourLives web site.

While many have been quick to applaud the rising youth leadership following the Parkland shooting, gun reform in America is a long battle against a deeply entrenched foe.  Addressing some of the root causes of urban violence, school shootings, suicide and domestic abuse, is an even bigger challenge.

With that in mind, I encourage organizers to read this 1980s article about 8 Stages of Movement Building by Bill Moyers.  His lessons apply to 2018 movement-building as much as they did 40 years ago.

I strongly support the first policy initiative on the #MarchforOurLives web site, which is "Fund gun violence research and gun violence prevention/intervention programs."  That covers a lot of bases, including the gun violence in our cities, the shootings in our schools, and the massive number of people killed via domestic violence or who take their own lives through suicide.

With school shootings becoming an almost weekly event, is this now a broad enough issue that the costs of doing nothing are now rising high enough that a majority of the people in the USA, White, Brown, Black and other hues of skin tone, will have an urgency for finding a solution?

Or, will we be looking at headlines like my 1992 Chicago SunTimes story twenty-five years from now?



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

School year ending. Learning continues.

View Library cMap
While this school year is ending the next starts in a few short months. In the time in-between I encourage youth, volunteers, leaders, donors and staff of  youth tutor, mentor and learning programs to spend time daily digging through the four sections of the Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute, LLC web library for ideas that you can apply in the coming year.

The library has many sub sections and if you're making your first visit, I encourage you to open and close each section, just to see what's there, just as you would if you were visiting a new shopping mall and looking to see what each store offers. Here's a set of blog articles that include guides to the entire library.

Homework Help cMap
One sub section is full of homework help and learning resources. This cMap is a blueprint of what's in this section of the library. If volunteers, staff and students spend time during the summer months learning what's in the library, they will be better prepared to use the information in coming school years.

Below is a video that I made to walk you through the homework help section.



While this section of the library focuses on academic learning resources for k-12 students, the majority of the web library is intended for adult learning, sharing articles, research, "how to" tips and similar information that people can use to build and sustain well-organized non-school tutor, mentor learning programs in all high poverty areas of Chicago and other places.

In addition, articles focus on innovation, collaboration, knowledge management, philanthropy and business involvement, pointing to a wide range of challenges that need to be overcome if youth in high poverty areas are going to be more successful moving safely through school and into adult lives, with jobs and careers that enable them to raise their own children in any place the choose.

I add new links to the library weekly. Look at the video to see where you can find what's been added recently. As you find interesting resources use your own blog, social media, web site and other communications channels to share this with people in your own network.  I'm on Twitter at TutorMentorTeam and look forward to seeing your posts.

If you find broken links please send me a message, using this contact us form. If you want to recommend a link...related to the mission of the library, please send that to me, too.


I use graphics like this to emphasize that it takes 12 years to move from first grade through 12th grade and many more years to move securely into a job and career.

That means that the information I'm sharing needs to be used by many people, for many years.  We've much work still to do!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Helping K-12 Youth in Poverty Areas - Address the Fund Raising Challenges

View in this article
This is one of many graphics I've used to visualize a need to have a wide range of youth support programs available to K-12 youth in every high poverty area of the Chicago region and other places.

I've been writing articles and sharing graphics like this for nearly 20 years, but as just one voice, I don't have enough impact to influence the massive changes that are needed in how such programs are organized, designed and supported.

View in this article
At the right is another graphic that I use to emphasize the need for continuous flows of flexible operating dollars to youth programs in every high poverty neighborhood.

Thus, I was pleased in the past couple of weeks to find funder networks talking about this.

I wrote about the Grant Makers for Effective Organization conference in this post.  If you search #2018GEO on Twitter,  you can review Tweets from the past couple of weeks and capture much of the information shared at this event.

Read about Annotation
Then this week I found this article published by Open Impact, titled, "The New Normal: Capacity Building During a Time of Disruption"

I read the article and saw many ideas which I've been trying to implement via the Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute, LLC since 1993. So I decided to put it on Hypothes.is and re-read it, highlighting relevant parts, and writing comments in the margin that show my own efforts.

In the paper's introduction the writers say "we hope this paper will spark and important conversation". I agree. 

In my comments I suggest that philanthropy would dramatically change if donors were shoppers and if non-profits and social change organizations would put enough information on their web sites for donors, volunteers and clients to make better choices of who they support, and in what ways.  I also emphasize the use of maps to support a better distribution of resources to all high poverty areas of the Chicago region and other places where help is most needed.

Thus, I invite you to read "The New Normal: Capacity Building During a Time of Disruption" with three purposes:

1) build a deeper understanding of what I've been trying to do, and to find reasons to support my efforts and help carry them into the future;

2) build a deeper understanding of the challenges facing all social benefit organizations, in the US and the world, and a commitment to draw others into this conversation; and

3) see how on-line annotation works and build a commitment to launch other articles and invite more readers and learners to join in.

I look forward to meeting you in the margins.




Wednesday, May 09, 2018

#OnTheTable2018 on Twitter, and LinkedIN, too.

Reasons to Engage - see map
Yesterday many thousands of Chicago area residents gathered in a variety of locations to talk about ways to make Chicago a better place for everyone to live, work and raise their kids.

I followed #0nTheTable2018 on Twitter and saw more than 700 Tweets. In the article I posted yesterday, I showed a few of those, plus Tweets I'd posted.

Here's an example:




Connecting people and ideas. - read
I created this visualization in the 1990s. The circles represent discussion groups, as well as information resources that can support those groups and actions that aim to fill Chicago high poverty areas with needed non-school tutor, mentor, learning and youth development activities.   You can find many graphics like this, and maps, embedded in articles I've been writing since 2005.

Today I spent some time looking at #0ntheTable2018 posts on Linkedin.  There are dozens and many seem to be from groups that I did not see on Twitter.  Here's a link to one post.

I also followed this on Facebook, but I think Twitter and Linkedin offer greater opportunities to jump into the conversations and attempt to build relationships with participants.

My goal is that the issues raised, turn to planning, then actions, which are reported in each annual #onthetable event as they mature into programs and services that make a difference in the lives of people throughout the Chicago region.

That was my message in this Twitter post:


Finding time to skim through these Tweets, Linkedin and Facebook posts is one of the huge challenges we face. I look forward to seeing posts and articles that show how you're doing that.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

#OnTheTable2018 today in Chicago region

This is a graphic I use in PDF presentations like this to show people from different sectors connecting with each other in face-to-face meetings and on-line. That's happening in many places throughout Chicagoland today as part of the annual #OnTheTable2018 event, hosted by the Chicago Community Trust.

I've written articles in past years about this event. They are still relevant. Take a look.

I was not able to find an event to attend this morning, and am going to the 300th session of #ChiHackNight this evening, so I decided to participate by using Twitter, and my blog, to amplify some of what's happening today. Here are some of my Tweets and Re-Tweets.










There's a lot going on throughout the Chicago region.  If you search #OnTheTable2018 on Twitter you can scroll through the messages posted and see some of what is happening and hopefully connect with people talking about issues  you care about.

You can also search Facebook to find #OnTheTable2018 posts and conversations.  I'm sure you can also find images and conversations on other social media platforms. If you know of some good ones, why not post a link in the comment section below, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Here's one more Tweet that shows what I hope will be on-going conversations that are re-energized in coming years.



The problems and opportunities of Chicago and other places are complex and require long term investments of time, talent and dollars by many people and organizations, from the non profit sector, public sector, business and other sectors.

I hope you find the ideas I share on this blog and the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site to be valuable resources. I'd be happy to spend time with you to help you learn what's available.




Saturday, May 05, 2018

Sharing Tutor/Mentor Graphics on Twitter

Last week I posted some Tweets in this article, which I had launched into the #2018Geo conference.   I decided that today I'd do a bit more. If you search Twitter for the combination #learning #tutor #mentor, below are some of  my Tweets that you'll find.












Here's just one more. You can do a Twitter search using any of the words in this tag cloud, along with #tutor #mentor, and find ideas I've posted.



Share these with friends, co-workers and others who are concerned with the well-being of youth born and living in high poverty areas of Chicago and other places of the USA and the world.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations Conference in San Francisco

People talking about
helping others.
There's a big conference of grant makers taking place in San Francisco this week, organized by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.  I attended on Monday, via my PC, watching the live session on Monday, and planning to watch again today or tomorrow, from this Facebook page.

Here's a blog article by Kathy Reich, vice chair of the GEOFunders board of directors.
One of the accomplishments that she pointed out was 
Thanks in part to GEO’s tireless efforts, practices that once were outside the mainstream of organized philanthropy — general operating support, evaluation for improvement, funder collaboration, use of grantee feedback, and investments in nonprofit capacity building — are now widely recognized as essential in our field.

As I listened I also shared ideas from my library on Twitter and used #2018GEO hashtag to connect with others. You can also use this at a later date to go back and review all the Tweets shared during and after the event. 

I've posted a few of my Tweets below.












I've been building and sharing a directory of Chicago area non-school, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs since 1993,
in an effort to help each get a more consistent flow of needed operating resources and ideas. The graphic below shows two lists that I maintain on Facebook, showing programs, and showing intermediaries, like Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, who also need consistent, on-going support.


I also plot locations on maps and maintain a list of programs in the web library that I've been building as an information resource since the mid 1990s.

What's frustrating to me now, and for the past 25 years, is how few of the organizations I'm trying to help spend time helping me gather and keep this information updated, or help me share it in ways that attract more attention, volunteers and donors to their own program, and to other programs in Chicago and in other cities.

One leader told me in the 1990s, "I love what you're trying to do, but until I get my own house in order, I can't help you.".  What that meant to me was, he'd never be able to help, because most non-profits can't influence the type of donors giving habits that big organizations like GEO Funders is trying to do.

I wrote about this a few years ago in this "Can't Drain the Swamp" article. I've focused on trying to increase operating funds for tutor/mentor programs as a strategy to create more time and motivation for various organizations to work together to help every high poverty neighborhood have a full range of well-organized, mentor-rich programs.

While social media offers opportunities to easily connect, share ideas, and interact, only a few organizations actively use Twitter, which I feel is the best platform for connecting with others. A few more use Facebook, but mostly as a bulletin board for their own organization. I don't find a conversation of "What works, what could work better, where are programs most needed, how can we work together to overcome challenges that we can't solve by ourselves?"

Here's another Tweet that I posted recently:


While the conference center for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is filled this week, what will bring these grant makers and youth program leaders, as well as other nonprofits needed in high poverty areas, into on-going conversations that lead to stronger, on-going organizations in more places?

A starting point might be to connect on Twitter. I'm @tutormentorteam

Is there someone who could represent your organization, or your foundation, in this conversation?