Thursday, August 09, 2018

Building Different Support Systems for Kids in High Poverty Areas

Once again violence in Chicago is front page news and the topic of countless commentary writers. I agree with Rex Huppke's Chicago Tribune column from today that tells politicians to "shut up" unless they have a comprehensive plan.

I've been saving news stories about violence, gangs, poverty,  poorly performing schools, etc for the past 30 years as part of my own on-going effort to motivate leaders in business, philanthropy, government and the social sector to fill all high poverty areas of the city with comprehensive systems of support that help kids move through school and into jobs.

Thus, the headline from yesterday and the front page from January 1, 1993, call attention to the same problem....which was greater then than now, but still too much in 2018.

I wrote about this on Sunday and have written about violence in Chicago and long-term strategies that might reduce it often on this blog over the past 13 years, and before that on websites, list serves, email and print newsletters.

The politicians aren't the only ones saying "we need to work together". Here's a Tweet that I saw yesterday.

At the right is another article from my collection. It's a 1993 Chicago SunTimes story which leads off with a statement saying "Chicago neighborhoods that were poor 20 years ago are even more entrenched in poverty today because the city lacks a comprehensive battle plan".

That's still true.

I included this article in a 2015 article with the headline of "After the riots, do the planning".

I've been offering a plan since starting the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 (and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011). It's visualized in this graphic, and dozens of others, and shows the need to build an information base that anyone can use to support their own efforts to help youth in high poverty areas move safely through school and into adult lives with jobs that enable them to raise their own kids free of poverty.

I've been describing this in articles on this blog and on the web site for many years.  However, far too few people have ever seen these, or spend time digging through past articles and sections of my web library.

I keep asking myself, "what if it were the Mayor writing these articles, or issuing them on his web site?"

Or, what if LeBron James, Derek Rose, or Oprah were the one writing these articles and calling attention to the ideas in videos, TV shows and music?

Several years ago I created the animation below to illustrate a role athletes and celebrities could take to support the growth of needed youth tutor,mentor, learning and jobs programs in different neighborhoods.

This animation, and other videos in my library, could be re-produced in many ways, with hundreds of different athletes, celebrities, alumni of tutor/mentor programs, etc. giving the message.  This video is included several times in a series of articles focused on sports and celebrity stars.

Building an information base is just the first step in an on-going four part strategy that I've developed over the past 25 years. Getting people to look at the information, understand it, then apply it to help kids and families in one, or many, high poverty neighborhoods are essential additional steps.

While I feel this strategy applies to Chicago, it can also be applied in any other urban area. It can have leaders from many sectors who share the same goals.  If you're interested in learning about this, devote time over the next few months to read past articles and browse through sections of my web sites. Or, reach out to me on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or with a comment on this blog and invite me to be part of  your planning group.

Or, you can visit this page and make a small (or large) contribution to help me keep sharing these ideas and resources.

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