Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Place Matters - Where You Live Affects Your Life

I've used maps to show where poor schools are located and where acts of violence take place in an effort to mobilize more people to support mentor-rich non-school tutor/mentor programs in these places.

From time to time I point to research done by others that reinforce these points, as well as to news stories that bring attention, but not solutions.

Here's a new report titled: Place Matters for Health in Cook County: Ensuring Opportunities for Good Health for All. A Report on Health Inequities in Cook County, Illinois
Prepared by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Health Policy Institute and the Cook County, Il, Place Matters Team

In the introduction the first paragraph says "Where one lives may be the most important factor in determining health outcomes. And because of our history of racial oppression and the legacy of that oppression in residential patterns today, the intersection of place and race in the persistence of health disparities looms large."

The Executive Summary provides this motivation for citizens throughout the Chicago region to be concerned and involved.  "Clearly, there is a strong moral imperative to enact policies to redress the inequities of the past, as well as current inequities, in ways that will improve health for all. But, there also is a powerful economic incentive. A study released by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in 2009 found that direct medical costs associated with health inequities among African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans approached $230 billion between 2003 and 2006. When indirect costs, such as lowered productivity and lost tax revenue resulting from illness and premature death, were included, the total cost of health inequities exceeded $1.24 trillion.7 Thus, for both moral and economic reasons, we must address health inequities and their root causes now."

In today's Chicago Tribune is an article titled "Violence takes a toll on child's play." which also draws attention to "place" and the challenges that face parents, schools and children in these neighborhoods. 

I hope that one of these articles will make some of your concerned enough to launch a "learning group" in your company, family, faith group, alumni group, etc. Only when more people are engaged with the information and actively involved in building youth support programs in all of the poverty neighborhoods will we ever have enough people involved to change these conditions.

If you do have a group of people focusing on this issue why not participate in the November 19 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference where you can share your own understanding and help more people get involved? 

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1 comment:

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

This article on the Brookings.edu blog includes maps that show differing levels of opportunity and social mobility in different cities and counties of the US. http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brookings-now/posts/2015/06/raj-chetty-maps-geography-social-mobility