Friday, October 22, 2021

#RacismandtheEconomy: Focus on the Wealth Divide

On October 20th I tuned into another of the #RacismandtheEconomy webinars hosted by the Federal Reserve banks. Click into the hashtag on Twitter and you can follow some of the conversation and find a link to the full archive and past presentations.

This webinar focused on the Wealth Divide in America and panel members represented the views of Native Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and other minority groups, as I highlighted in the Tweet shown below.   As I listened to the speakers I recognized that they were talking of different histories and lived experiences and their goals and paths to opportunity are often different.  

I scratched some notes as I listened and I'm sharing them below.

I created this to visualize the different histories of People of Color (POC) in America.  If there are major groups missing send me a Tweet and I'll update the graphic. 

I launched the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in 1993 as an "Information based problem solving strategy."  Our mission statement says "Gather and organize all that is known about successful non-school tutoring/mentoring programs and apply that knowledge to expand the availability and enhance the effectiveness of these services to children throughout the Chicago region."

When collecting "all that is known" the information collected has continued to expand over the past 25 years beyond "what does a volunteer do in a tutor/mentor program" and "what does it take to build and sustain an effective, on-going, mentor-rich program?"

I've created concept maps, like the one shown here, to show categories of information in the library and to point to sub sections with specific types of information.

While my library has a large number of links to information about Black history, racism, poverty and inequality, it does not have as much about Native Americans, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Hispanic Americans and Hawaiian American history or struggles to gain equal status and opportunity in America to the dominant European White culture. 

I'm in the process of migrating the library to a new hosting arrangement but when I do I may create a new concept map using the graphic above and posting links to articles related to each group.  

However, as the information library grows, we need to be thinking of how that information is used to help us better understand the problem, ways some people are trying to solve the problem, and ways to apply promising solutions from some places, to more places. 

 I call that "getting from here to there" and show this graphic in this article.

That's complicated because as the histories of each POC group shows, the problems are different.

This concept map shows a problem solving cycle.  Using aggregated information people can begin to better understand a problem and proposed solutions.

Those solutions need high level policy support, as well as state and local policy support. In other words, bad laws need to be removed, and improved laws need to be passed. Funding needs to be mobilized. As people look at the available information they should be asking "What does government need to do to remove barriers, increase opportunity, and increase the flow of resources to all places where people need extra help."

Solutions also need private sector, philanthropic and individual support. 

This is where maps are needed. Maps can show all the places where help is needed, and indicators of why that help is needed.  They can also show where money needs to flow, and where it is landing.  My concept map points to many data platforms that can help you understand the problem.  

I don't know of too many platforms that are showing organizations distributed throughout a city who all need a constant flow of dollars, volunteers and talent to do their work.  This map is one I host showing volunteer based tutor and/or mentor programs in the Chicago region.  Every time I share this link I'm enabling interested people to browse my list of programs, look at their websites, and decide who to  help, and how much to help.

Maps like mine need to be available in every city and state and point to other sectors working to create hope and opportunity and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

At the end of this week's webinar one of the Federal Reserve Bank Presidents was asked what they are doing to solve these problems. The answer was "we do research and we draw attention to the problems, and our research, with events like these webinars."  

In the Tweet below you can see that I said "That's good. But not enough."
So what's next.  If you've read this far, thank you.  If you are hosting a web library with information specific to the histories and issues of one or more of the POC groups I've pointed to, please share the link. Let's connect on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to amplify our stories. 

Follow this blog and you'll see when I publish a concept map with my graphic showing POC groups.

Every year since 2011 I've asked people to support my work by making a gift to support my December 19th birthday. I'll be 75 this year, and would appreciate your help.   Click here

In addition, I've maintained an on-going site where people can contribute to the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.  

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