Sunday, August 05, 2018

31 Shot in Chicago - August 5 - What's The Rest of the Story?

Chicago Tribune - shootings tracker
On my Facebook feed this morning I saw a link to a Chicago Tribune article telling about 31 people being shot since midnight, Sunday morning.  Sixteen were teenagers.

I did some digging and found this page on the Tribune web site that maps locations of Chicago shootings and keeps it updated regularly. 

If you view the violence and media tagged articles on this blog you'll see I've been using maps in stories for many years, to focus on where these shootings take place, why, and ways people can get involved in building and sustaining long-term solutions that might reduce some of this.

It's my "Rest of the Story" strategy that I first launched in 1993.

The graphic below is one I use to visualize the need for comprehensive youth development, tutoring and/or mentoring programs in all high poverty areas, which is where most of the shootings take place.

So let me walk you through the way I create these map stories.

Chicago West Side
The first thing I did was zoom into the Tribune map, and enlarge the Chicago West side area where most of last night's shootings took place.  I copied this into Power Point and added the yellow labels to identify the community areas of Austin, North Lawndale, Humboldt Park, West and East Garfield Park. Then I saved it as a JPG so I could upload it into this article.

Anyone can do this.

Several weeks ago I posted a PDF with maps of different sections of the city, showing the number of high poverty youth, age 6-17 in each neighborhood.  The West side of Chicago is shown in the map below.

Chicago West Side
The yellow box shows data from 2011 and the blue box shows the same data, but from 2018.  You can see that Austin and North Lawndale have a larger number of high poverty youth (more than 6000) than any of the other 77 Chicago community areas.

I made this map using the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, which as of 8/3/2018, no longer is connecting to Google maps. Thus, you're not able to use it to determine if there are any tutor/mentor programs in the area.

Chicago West Side
However, I started having problems updating the Program Locator in 2013, so in late 2015 I put my list of Chicago tutor and/or mentor programs on another map, which you can find here.

I opened this link to the full map, then zoomed in to show the West side of Chicago.  I put my mouse on one of the green icons, just to show how you can find the name and web site address of programs on the map.  It's not as detailed as the Program Locator, but it works for this process.

I copied the image into PowerPoint, added the yellow labels, then again, saved it as a jpg so I could put it in this article.

By doing this I'm showing where the shootings took place, indicators, such as poverty, that show why they took place, and whatever resources might already be in these neighborhoods trying to help kids stay safe and headed toward high school graduation and jobs.

By doing this you know that there are youth serving organizations in these West side neighborhoods, but too few based on the large number of high poverty k-12 kids. If someone were collecting data on opportunity youth, age 16-25, it would show a need for even more programs.  Furthermore, by looking at the location of program sites you can see that they are too far for many kids to attend. If gang territories were also shown on the maps, they might show it's also unsafe for kids to go from one part of a neighborhood to another to take part in a non-school program.

Thus, more programs are needed in most areas.

Kids to Careers cMap
There's more.

At the left is a concept map that I created many years ago to show the different supports kids need as they grow from from pre-school through when they are starting jobs and careers. These need to be available in every high poverty area.  I've been trying to plot tutor/mentor programs, showing type of program and age group served (see search page), but I don't know anyone who is even trying to collect the data that would show what other assets are available on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.

If we're going to provide systems of on-going support to kids in every high poverty neighborhood, someone needs to be collecting information that shows what's already available.

If someone were doing this, they could be putting links from each node on a concept map like mine, to web sites of those service providers.

Then, if this information were available, it would be possible to lead year-round efforts to help existing programs get the resources they need to stay available and constantly improve, while also trying to bring new services to areas where more are needed.

Since I already collect and share information about existing non-school programs, groups in any Chicago community area could be already creating map stories like this one and be sharing them on social and traditional media with a "get informed, get involved" daily call to involvement.


One of the many challenges we face is that if you look at web sites of the youth organizations on my list, very few provide enough information for shoppers (parents, donors, volunteers, media, researchers, etc) to really know what their theory of change and long-term strategies are. Thus, while there are many green stars on my map, they don't all serve the same grade levels, or fill all of the steps on this "mentoring kids to careers" ladder.

And it's almost impossible to differentiate between them.

This Shoppers Guide pdf offers some ideas for what I think would be helpful on program web sites. It's only my suggestions. I encourage you to create your own version and share it with myself and others.

However, until business partners, volunteers and donors provide the resources for programs to collect and communicate this information on their web sites, few will be able to do it.

"It takes a village" cMap
On my Facebook feed someone said "it will take the entire village" to help prevent these shootings.  I've visualized what that means to me with this concept map.  The village includes people from all sectors who each make a long-term commitment to use their time, talent, dollars, technology and jobs to help kids in every high poverty community area of Chicago (or other cities) have the full range of supports that I show on my graphics.

Had leaders been doing this since the 1990s when I first started sharing these ideas maybe things would be different today.  If they start applying these ideas today, maybe things will be different by 2025 and 2030.

As much as we all might wish it, these changes will not take place in just a few months or years.

I'm available to help groups understand this process and (for a small fee) will gladly help them learn to create and share map stories like I've been doing.  Connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIN or Facebook.

If you've read this article and value what I'm sharing, I could use your help. Visit this page and use the PayPal to send me a small contribution to help me keep doing this work.

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