Thursday, April 03, 2014

Building the Network. Follow up to Race for Results Kids Count Report

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released a new Kids Count Report, titled: Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, that explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity. Below is a recording of the announcement of this publication along with a panel discussion.

In the video, Soledad O’Brien, the panel moderator said “If we have all this research showing what works and what the need is, why is it still such a fight to get it executed?”

One of the panel members responded that “rational self interest, rightly understood, has to be the motivation that brings us together.”

How do we get from here, to there?

While another panel member called this research revolutionary, and “a wake up call” I have been involved in helping youth in inner city Chicago since the mid 1970s and while much has changed for minorities, too much has not changed.

Here are a few of articles I wrote over the past seven years. If you view some of my print newsletters from the 1990s you’ll see that I’ve been trying to build “rational self interest” among the wealthy and corporate leaders for a long time.

Friday, May 27, 2005
Memorial Day: Just Don't Forget

Monday, January 16, 2006
Making the vision of Dr. King a reality

Monday, December 10, 2007
Building Public Will - Expanding the Choir

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Fighting Dropout Crisis – Building Public Will

I've created map stories, since the mid 1990s, following negative news with efforts to draw people together to help tutor/mentor programs grow in high poverty areas of Chicago.

In articles I’ve written, and graphics I’ve posted at Pinterest, you can see geographic maps showing all the places in Chicago where kids and families need help and concept maps representing blueprints that connect the ideas of many different organizations, such as the Anne E Casey Foundation, with each other.

In building a movement, we need to find ways to connect the research, passion and advocacy of existing leaders to create a year-round effort that expands the number of “self interested” people who are involved and who are providing time, talent, dollars and votes to support people in places where the data maps show kids need extra help.

How do we appeal to the self interest of business and the wealthy who are able to isolate themselves from the problems of the poor and the middle class?

I created this knowledge map to serve as a “curriculum guide” for anyone who wants to find ways to reach corporate leaders and build a strategic, self interested, support for efforts that help youth living in high poverty move through school and into the 21st century jobs they are trying so hard to fill. These articles are intended to show that volunteer or pro bono engagement of current employees, is a strategy that helps their current workforce and human capital development strategies, while also building a future workforce.

How do we get this on the reading list of busy executives or in the required reading list of MBA students?

While I can launch ideas with my blog articles and pdf essays, and interns working with me can create new versions reaching more people, I’m too small a player in this game. Others need to adopt my strategies and help build a knowledge map connecting more of the ideas and research from different sectors.

Others need to help create learning paths that connect place based conferences, meetings, dinners, etc. held throughout the year in cities across the country (world) with online learning events such as MOOCs where thousands of people from different places can dig deeper into this information and build relationships and collaborations with others who are involved in the same learning communities.

This learning network needs to include all of the emerging data centers, such as the Boston Indicators Project, the WEAVE network, and my own Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC library.

If more leaders work to “Pull” learners to the information we share on-line, and work to help them understand the ideas as they related to their own personal and professional lives we might build a movement that changes the future for kids identified in this Kids Count Report, but only if we keep working at this and expanding the network for many years into the future.

If you’re in Chicago and agree with these ideas why not connect with me and help me do my work, while letting me help you adopt some of my ideas into your work?

If you're anywhere in the world teams of volunteers could be connecting with me in on-line communities to innovate ways to map the growth and composition of networks so we know who is looking at this information, and who is helping youth move through schools and into jobs and careers.

I have hosted a gathering of tutor/mentor program leaders every six months since May 1994. The next conference is May 19. I need help organizing, promoting, facilitating and attracting participants. Can you build this into your own personal commitment for expanding the network of “self interested people” who use the research to support actions that change the future?

This is the front page of the October 1992 Chicago SunTimes. If we don't find ways to connect and build the network we'll be repeating these stories 20 years from now.

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