Monday, February 17, 2020

NBA Allstar Game Scores Big Points for Chicago Scholars

I watched most of the NBA Allstar game last night and it was a great show. Most impressive in my point of view was how two Chicago youth serving organizations were singled out for attention and as much as $400,000 in donations, based on which team won the first three quarters and the final score.  Here's one Tweet that shows @ChicagoScholars as the big winner.

Use your visibility
I hope that other sport copies this formula and that every year two or more youth serving programs are given the opportunities to meet with players, be interviewed by media and receive huge donations.

However, I want to see more. 

I want to see these players talking about the need for youth programs in every poverty neighborhood, and the need to find ways to generate consistent attention and financial support for ALL of the youth programs in a city, not just one or two.

I used this photo of LeBraun James in a 2011 article which includes two videos done by interns working with me. Below is one of them.

High Profile Stars 
In 2013 I used Derek Rose's picture in another article, along with an animation showing a role any athlete could take on a regular basis, to talk about where tutor/mentor and learning programs are most needed, and what programs operate in different neighborhoods, who need continuous support from fans, donors, volunteers and media to be world class in what they do to help kids move through school and into adult lives.

I've even suggested that some of these athletes could use my articles as templates and create their own versions, for their own web sites.

In the graphic below imagine each slice of the pie chart at the left representing one category of sports (baseball, football, basketball, soccer, golf, etc) or one category of entertainment or business.

Build year-round support
The only way we can generate enough attention, and enough money, to support hundreds of youth tutor/mentor programs in Chicago, and in other cities, is to have many people doing what the NBA AllStar broadcast did last week. Highlight one, or two programs. Then say "Here's a place where you can learn about others programs who also need help."

Then use social media to draw attention to this message. 

Use T/MI map
Look through the articles I've tagged, #maps, #media and #violence on this blog, or on the MappingforJustice blog and you'll see the maps that I've created showing locations of nearly 200 youth serving programs in the Chicago area. You'll also see how I use other data platforms to highlight where these programs are most needed, based on indicators such as poverty, health disparities, poorly performing schools, violence, etc.

Use this information to decide what neighborhood you want to support, and which youth programs in that area you want to help become the best in the world at helping kids.

In this 2014 article I encourage youth to create map stories on a regular basis, for the same purpose that I do. Athletes and celebrities could coach them to do this and give recognition to those who do it well.

I'm on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin and a few other social media spaces. If you're doing this type of work or want to share ideas, let's connect.

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