Monday, January 16, 2017

Still far to go to achieve Dr. ML King Jr's Dream

I'm looking at my Twitter feed and seeing a flow of inspirational Tweets related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and service to those in need.

I've been writing articles to encourage people to become involved in  helping kids living in high poverty neighborhoods move through school and into adult lives free of poverty since starting the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993. I started writing this blog in 2005 and if you look at January articles every year since then, you'll find articles that mirror these same thoughts, over, and over, again. Here's my January 2006 article.

Here's me at an event where I am showing a 1994 Chicago Tribune article, where the map shows poverty neighborhoods in the city, and the headline says "240,000 city kids at risk".

While we've made many gains, this nation and the world still have too many youth and families living lives with too much "inequality and lack of opportunity".  View maps shown here and in the MappingforJustice blog that point to where these places are.

I've used maps over and over to repeat this message and to motivate people to become involved in building and sustaining mentor-rich non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs for k-12 kids in high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago, its suburbs, and other cities and states.

In many articles I use visualizations like the one above, which was created by a student intern, and the one below, to illustrate a program design, with volunteers from many work backgrounds connecting in an on-going effort.  In the 1990s I tried branding this type of program as "Total Quality Mentoring (TQM)" since it borrows from business practices of constant learning and constant improvement.

I have created a variety of power point presentations to communicate these ideas. This presentation illustrates the idea of Total Quality Mentoring.  I keep looking for other youth serving organizations to show their program design and theory of change using maps and visualizations like this.  If you know of any who do this well, please share a link in the comment section below.

As you do  your service today, or on January 20th, when one organization is encouraging another day of service, look for ways you can use your time, talent and dollars to help others get involved in deeper learning, on-going actions and many places.

In 50 years let's show even more progress in the US and around the world than we have achieved in the past 50 years.

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