Friday, January 29, 2016

Building Community Wealth: Role of Cities

I wrote an article about the Role of Anchor Organizations in 2013 after hearing the Democracy Collaboration talk about this.  An anchor organization is a hospital, university, or other institution that is a long-term part of a neighborhood, and often the major employer.

Today I've been listening to a panel discussion titled: Cities Building Community Wealth: A Gathering at the CUNY Law School.  Here's a link to the video.  

When I focus on volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs I'm thinking of them as a form of bridging social capital, that connects people from high poverty, mostly segregated neighborhoods, with people, ideas and resources from beyond the neighborhood. Such programs can have a transformative affect on the lives of young people, if they are available in the neighborhoods where young people live.

To me, anchor institutions should be the lead convener trying to make such organizations available in the areas where they operate.

Since we're in the middle of a Presidential campaign, and inequality, wealth gaps, Black Lives Matter, and so many issues are at stake, the comment made by the Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin is really important.

"We've elected progressive Mayors. They just have been too ineffective in governing."

Nearly 1000 people attended this weeks Mentoring Summit in Washington. I followed the even via live stream and Tweeted using #mentoringsummit2016.  I hope that this results in a growing number of tutor/mentor leaders from around the country, and Chicago, looking at this blog, and then looking for ways to motivate their volunteers and students to spend time looking at my articles, and the links I point to, like today's panel discussion.

There's lots that needs to be learned. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Innovative use of concept maps to support collective effort

Below is a concept map that I created many years ago to show the commitment many leaders need to take over many years so that more youth born in poverty in one year might be starting jobs and careers out of poverty 20 to 30 years later.  A person/company could demonstrate this commitment by putting a version of this on their web site, with their name/logo in the blue box. 

Yesterday I found an article on the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) site, under the title of 

The Tactics of Trust

The subhead reads: "Participants in a large, complex collaboration can build a capacity for finding common ground—and it doesn’t have to take years."

I read the article, then I asked,  "What this might cost per year?" and was told that "the most effective networks involving multiple organizations typically require an operating budget of $150,000 to $300,000 per year for maximum impact"

Then I asked if anyone was using concept maps to show their process, and included this timeline showing my work since 1990 as an example. 

I received this comment:

"Wow Daniel.This is a spectacular map. I’ve never seen one like it before and don’t know of anyone doing this. We’ve used in-person graphic facilitation at times, but this is different. Amazing how much you’ve accomplished without funding and only volunteers. Impressive."

Then I posted a link to a page with my library of concept maps, and said, "By sharing this I’m inviting others to use the maps, and create their own versions."

That generated this response:

"Very impressive Daniel. I’ve never seen concept maps like this. I wish you well in your important work." 

I've received similar comments about my uses of GIS maps, which you can see in articles on this blog, and on the Mappingforjustice blog.

However, I've never found a way to turn this into consistent funding at a $150-$300,000 a year level. Since 2011 I've not been able to find more than a few thousand dollars a  year to support my work as Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

This graphic illustrates what I'm trying to do, and what I've been trying to teach others to do.  This page provides a PayPal button and a mailing address that others could use to send financial support to help me continue to do this work.

However, I'm not posting this with a goal of finding a few small donations. I'm posting it so that someone who has the civic and business reach, and the talent to develop business plans and secure investment funding, will reach out and offer to become a partner in helping me find the funding and do the work, and in sustaining and growing it in future years when I'm no longer around.

When someone says "Very impressive Daniel. I’ve never seen concept maps like this. I wish you well in your important work," .... hope is they will go beyond "wishing me well" to helping me find the resources and partners needed to do this work as well as it needs to be done, and in every urban area in the world.

Career Opportunity for Urban Youth - Data Story Tellers

Since 1994 I've been using maps to tell stories and encourage more people to be involved in helping build and sustain mentor-rich tutor/mentor programs in high poverty neighborhoods.  In many articles on this and other blogs I've suggested that this is a skill that youth living in high poverty neighborhoods could learn, supported by teachers and/or volunteer tutors and mentors.  We know that youth possess  unlimited pools of creative talent. This just has not been focused in this direction.

Last week I saw an article on my @tutormentorteam Twitter feed titled "Data Storytelling: Big Data's Next Frontier", written by James Kerr.  It emphasizes the talent needed to make sense of the big data that is becoming more and more available.   Over the past decade, I've connected to organizations like WEAVEa new web-based visualization platform, to encourage them to enlist volunteers and youth to use their data visualizations in stories that make sense of the data, and point readers to actions they can take to build solutions to problems indicated by the data. This is an emerging field, thus, it's something  urban youth could enter on the ground floor.

If you're a parent, volunteer tutor or mentor, teacher or policy maker, I encourage you to look at a map of Chicago, or any other major urban area, and envision icons showing up in all the high poverty areas of the map, indicating that part of the mentoring and learning strategy of such programs is to teach youth leadership and communications skills, using data storytelling, to draw attention and resources to support these programs, and to help fill the map with more.

That can happen if more people use blogs, newsletters, web sites, etc. to include maps and other visualizations to educate and motivate others to take roles that lead to such results.

This PDF shows a variety of map stories I've created since 1994.  If you're a business, or philanthropist, I encourage you to become a sponsor of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, so I can update our maps, keep the map platform available, and keep this resource free to all who might be inspired by the stories. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Engaging Volunteer Mentors in Youth Employment Issues

I attended a Youth Employment hearing at the Chicago Urban League yesterday where nearly 20 urban youth testified before a panel of elected officials and a crowd of community organization leaders, showing the importance of jobs and mentoring.  Articles sharing this information are in today's newspapers and many places on social media. Congratulations to the organizers for bringing the media,  political leaders and community organizations together to focus on this issuel.

During the hearing, Teresa Cordoba of the UIC Great Cities Institute shared a report, showing nearly half of urban Black men, age 20-24, are unemployed, and used maps to show the relationship of poverty, unemployment and urban violence.   Kelly Hallberg, from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, shared research showing that youth employment programs have a positive impact on the aspirations of youth and in reducing criminal behavior. She started her testimony with a sign saying:

"Nothing stops a bullet like a job."

Since this is obvious, why are the funds not in place to offer more jobs, Why isn't the business community doing more?

I attended this hearing (that's me sharing event information via my Twitter feed)  because I became a volunteer tutor/mentor in 1973, and because I was part of organized, structured, supportive non-school programs, I've stayed involved, and grown my own commitment to where it is today. See timeline.

I've been saying for nearly 20 years that strategies that support the growth of well-organized non-school tutor/mentor programs are strategies that increase the number of people who become allies..and voters... who are needed to resolve these problems.   Unfortunately, too few leaders have embraced the vision and ideas I've been sharing on this blog and on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site.

Below is one of several presentations I've created that expand on this idea.

If company leaders, faith leaders, college teams and more adopt this ROLE OF LEADERS strategy, and build internal teams to lead the engagement of the entire corporate/organization in this effort, there would be more well organized youth programs, and more volunteers, like myself, deeply involved in trying to reduce these problems.

As I listened to the different youth giving testimony yesterday, I had a vision of a different type of presentation.  What if each youth, when they introduced themselves, said "I'm a registered voter. I  live in xxWard, xx County Board District, xx State Legislative and State Senate district.  I am to cast my vote for someone who brings jobs and non-school learning and mentoring opportunities to my neighborhood."

I've written many articles on uses of maps, such as this one.  Here's a presentation, illustrating what youth could have been offering as part of their testimony, using maps of political districts, to illustrate where help is needed and who should be helping.

I'd be happy to meet with leaders of youth serving organizations, schools, universities, faith groups, political campaigns, and business, to show ways I think maps, and map stories, can involve youth in roles that not only educate and motivate adults to do more, but provide skill-building opportunities that translate to well-paying 21st century careers.

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIN, or email tutormentor 2 at earthlink dot net.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Brainstorming. Sharing ideas.

Last night while I was listening to community leaders of a group called BlocksTogether describe their participatory budgeting process, I scratched out a planning cycle, that would engage youth as leaders, researchers and communicators. I posted it from my camera to Facebook. Then today, I used my cMap application to create a better version.

Here's how I shared the original sketch of this idea on Facebook:

This is planning process sketch I drew tonight while listening to a community group from West Humboldt Park in Chicago. I will write more about this on my blog.
Posted by Daniel F. Bassill on Thursday, January 21, 2016

Below is the same idea, converted to a concept map, using cMap tools.  Here's the link to the concept map

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Building the Learning Network - Example

In the past few articles I've mentioned Terry Elliott, and shown how we've connected via cMOOCs held the past few years.  Below are three videos, illustrating how that connection is growing.

In preparation for today's Hangout, Terry created this article on his blog, focusing on this article from my blog and this article on Simon Ensor's blog. It included the two videos below:

Daniel Bassill

Simon Ensor

What I admire about Terry and a few others who I've met via cMOOCs and similar on-line forums is that he takes the time to dig into information put online by myself and others, then takes even more time to create screencasts and similar work that shows his understanding of what he's looking at and encourages others to spend their own time looking at the information.

Today's Hangout with Daniel, Simon and Terry

I hope you'll take some time to view these, and share them on your own blogs and web sites. Terry created a Vialog where you can offer your own comments and join the conversation. 

I home many others will create their own guided tours through this information and will share links to your articles in the comment section below, and on Twitter, Facebook, Linked in and other spaces.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Navigate the Tutor/Mentor Institute On-Line Library

I point to the same web sites over and over, and many have long links. Thus, I've created shorter tinyURL links. Since I use these frequently, I created a page so I could use the same link, over and over. These are organized by category.

Strategy and Vision Pages - concept maps
This first set of links point to visualizations that show strategies that leaders in any city could apply to help youth tutor/mentor and learning programs grow in high poverty neighborhoods.  One of these is a map showing the four sections of the Tutor/Mentor web library where you can find most of the information that I point to in the sections below.. 

Place to connect with Tutor/Mentor and Each other

Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Links: 
Since 1993 T/MC has been maintaining a list of Chicago area non-school tutor/mentor programs, to help volunteers,  parents, donors and others find programs in different neighborhoods. This list of programs can be found at this link:

Map showing location of Chicago area programs 

Chicago Are Youth Tutor and/or Mentor Programs

* Chicago North - click here
* Chicago Central - click here
* Chicago South Central - click here
* Chicago Far South - click here
* Chicago Multiple Sites/Community Based - click here
* Chicago Suburbs North West, South, NW Indiana, Rest of Ill. - click here 
* School Based Programs - click here

Other youth serving programs in Chicago or nationally -

Additional links point to other web sites that people can use to find contact information for youth tutoring and/or mentoring programs, and other volunteer opportunities, in Chicago, or other cities.

* Volunteer Recruitment info-
* Volunteer support networks -
* Volunteer Recruitment page on T/MI site
* Chicago Programs on Facebook -
* Chicago Youth Programs - Instagram list
* Chicago Youth Networks cMap -

* Chicago area Tutor/Mentor Volunteer Recruitment Campaign - 1995-2003 reports -

Web library (2000+ links) (archive) Contains wide range of information anyone can use to help youth living in poverty have more support helping them move through school and into adult lives.

* Tutor/Mentor Institute Library map (full) -
* Library cmap (non animated)

* Graphic of info in T/MI library -

Resources for tutoring/mentoring
* Tutor & Mentor Training -
* Parent Info  -
* Youth as leaders -

Link to research section of Tutor/Mentor Institute library
Equal justice, poverty mapping, inequality, prevention section of library:

Equal Justice, Poverty Law cMap -
Equal Justice, Poverty Law -
Poverty Mapping -
Poverty research 
Prevention resources - 
Street gangs -
Rural Issues -
Violence against Women, Girls -

  • Links to Funding, Philanthropy, Business Involvement
    Links to process improvement, innovation, etc. section of Tutor/Mentor Institute library
    Much focus of 21st century education is on thinking skills, creativity, working with others. The links in this section of the library can be applied by youth, volunteers, organizations, businesses, etc. to solve day to day problems, and/or to solve complex community-wide problems.

    Links to blogs, opinion, on-line forums
    Blogs are a format for sharing personal opinion and stories that attract attention to ideas and strategies. Most blogs include links to many other blogs. Thus, this is a constantly expanding universe of ideas.  In one section I attempt to point to blogs of different tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. Thus far, too few are using blogs in all the ways they could be.  

    Links to other programs in Illinois and beyond – benchmarking opportunities

    Technology, cool-tools
    Other Categories in Library

    Tutor/Mentor Institute articles
    While the majority of information shared on T/MC web sites represents ideas of other people and organizations, a portion of the ideas represent Dan Bassill's own ideas and vision, based on 40 years of leading a single tutor/mentor program, and of helping similar programs grow in more places.

    March 1, 2022 - D. Bassill interview w. Anthony Brogdon, Detroit -

    April 12, 2022  - D. Bassill interview with Aliyu B. Solomon, from Nigeria - t presentations (281K Views as of 7/5/2020)
    * No general goes to war (use of maps) -
    * Innovation race (Using ideas to spur innovation) -
    * How to use program locator -
    * Planning Calendar on Scribd -
    * Visualization on Scribd -
    * Building Network of Purpose -
    * Unleash personal power -
    * Community Information Collection -
    * Vertical and Horizontal Networks.
    * 4-part strategy on Scribd -
    * SNA – by Intern-Mina -
    * SNA – by Intern- Chul -
    * Use of maps in dropout prevention strategy -
    * Tutor/Mentor Institute strategy (TMLN) -
    * Community Area maps 2013 -
    * Year Round strategy -
    * Virtual Corporate office -
    * Problem Solving strategy -
    * Faith Community Network Building -
    * Mentor Role in Larger Strategy -
    * Theory of Change -
    Map stories 1990s -
    * Forming college based T/MC -
    * Career Ladder -
    * Total Quality Mentoring - 
    * Using Maps in Violence Prevention -
    * Using Intentional Influence to Motivate Change -

    Additional Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC idea pages; Concept maps

     Many of these same Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC idea presentations are also available at where they are presented using a different format.

    Visual Essays page on Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site

    Page 1 -
    Page 2 - 

    Information hubs:

    Other Visualizations of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC strategies:"

    Archived Versions of websites no longer working

    * Tutor/Mentor Program Locator Search - archive page: 
    * Tutor/Mentor Program Locator Interactive Map - archive page: 
    * Tutor/Mentor Map Gallery - archive page: 
    * Program Locator Home Page - archive: 
    * OHATS - Organizational History and Tracking System (June 2012 version -
    * OHATS Metrics page - June 2012 -

    Strategy Visualizations Created by Interns - 
    Between 2006 and 2016 interns from a variety of universities have created visualizations to interpret Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC strategies. Visit these links to browse this collection:

     Animations and visualizations by interns:
    *  Introduction to interns
    *  List of intern visualizations 

     Videos by interns -*  Loyola University Intern reflection -
    *   Strategy visualization Prezi -

    Tutor/Mentor Conference (1994-2015) web site

      History/Awards Tutor/Mentor Connection 1993-present; Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, 2011-present  

      Mapping for Justice and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Blog articles 

      These are just a few of the many articles posted on this blog since 2008.

      Social Network Analysis articles
      Creating networks and using network maps to understand who is participating, as well as who is missing, is an ongoing focus of Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and Tutor/Mentor Connection. Along the left site of this blog is a list of "tags".  Browse articles  under networking, network building, and network analysis to follow this set of ideas.  
      NOTE: I was inspired to create this list in January 2016 after viewing a screen cast video that Terry Elliott used to highlight a list of podcasts posted on a blog by Bryan Alexander.  As I viewed the screen cast I though that it might be useful for me to create a similar list, pointing to various resources in my own Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Library.