Monday, July 23, 2018

Mother of 2 Gunned Down. Forgotten.

Reading my Chicago Tribune this morning, the article by Rex Huppke, under headline of "Mother of 2 Gunned Down and Forgotten" caught my attention. In the story he wrote about a mother of two small children who was killed last week on the 5600 block of South Michigan Avenue. In the article he also pointed to another article, about a 14-year old boy, killed just a block away, only three weeks earlier. I created the map below to show where these shootings took place:

This map is part of a series of Chicago community area maps that I posted earlier this year, showing the number of high poverty youth, age 6 to 17, living in different parts of the city. According to most recent Heartland Alliance data, there are 1410 youth in this age group, which is 52% of the total youth in the Washington Park community area, located just West of Hyde Park on Chicago's South side. 

I created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993, and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011. The T/MC has been creating maps like this since 1994, as a strategy to keep attention focused on areas featured in negative news stories, and as a tool leaders could use to understand where non-school, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs are most needed in different Chicago neighborhoods, where existing programs are located, and what assets are in the map area who could be helping fill the neighborhood with a wide range of needed youth and family supports.  In 2008 we built an interactive Chicago Program Locator, to enable people to create their own map analysis and stories.

My database is probably not 100% comprehensive, and the Program Locator has not been updated since 2013 due to lack of resources, but it still works for this purpose.  The only organized tutor/mentor program that I show in this area is the Chicago Youth Programs site in the North part of this area near 51st Street.  As far as assets, on the East side of Washington Park is the University of Chicago and University of Chicago Hospital, along with the entire Hyde Park neighborhood.

See my most updated list of programs in this article.

I've posted the graphic at the right multiple times on this blog. Imagine if groups of people in the Hyde Park area were meeting regularly to look at maps like mine, and creating new maps when other shootings take place, so that the people who have been killed and mentally wounded by these shootings are not only remembered, but their memory stimulates actions that lead to more k-12 tutoring, mentoring, learning and jobs programs in Washington Park and other areas surrounding Hyde Park.

I'm not picking on Hyde Park. That just happens to be the biggest resource in the area around Washington Park. If the story had been about a shooting in Austin, such as this one, I'd be talking about Oak Park.

Before I started reading today's Chicago Tribune, I looked at my Twitter feed, and saw this post.

Chance The Rapper has purchased Chicagoist. What will he do with it?

I invite him to dig into stories and ideas I've posted on this blog, and the Mapping for Justice blog, and the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site, and then put these ideas to work in Chicagoist, and his music.

The Tutor/Mentor Connection has been creating map-stories, and graphics like this one, since 1994, to try to draw more attention, and mobilize more people, to support the growth of youth tutor/mentor programs in areas of Chicago where mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and grandparents have been getting shot and killed every day for decades.

In this article, and many other articles I suggest that youth in middle school, high school, and college, and in faith groups, and non-school tutor/mentor programs could be creating similar map stories, following every single shooting or media story about violence, poorly performing schools, gangs and other indicators showing that these neighborhoods need extra help, for many years, to change what's in the news.

At the right is an article that John McCarron of the Chicago Tribune wrote in 1995 about the vision of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. You can see it and many others on this page.

To answer Rex. They don't need to be forgotten.

They won't be if you, Chance the Rapper, and many others duplicate stories I've written for nearly 25 years in your own efforts.

Don't just talk about the tragedy. End your stories by pointing readers to some of the Chicago youth organizations I point to in this article, or the volunteer-opportunity search resources I aggregate on this concept map.

End every story with "get informed. get involved....with time, talent, dollars and votes"

I'd be happy to spend time with anyone talking about what I've been trying to do. I'm on Twittter @tutormentorteam. Also on LinkedIN and Facebook.

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