Friday, August 26, 2022

Expanding role of volunteers

Over the past two years I've watched a series of Racism and the Economy webinars hosted by the Federal Reserve Banks.  I viewed the July 2022 webinar yesterday and called attention to it with this post on Twitter.

In this Tweet I pointed to articles on this blog where I pointed to previous Federal Reserve Bank events. I hope you'll find time to look at these.

I became a volunteer in a tutor/mentor program in Chicago in 1973 and the leader of that program in 1975. I continued leading programs for the next 35 years.

During that time I've learned more and more about the challenges kids in high poverty areas face and that too few others are on the same learning path.  My learning was motivated by my personal involvement. Thus, my actions have aimed at getting more people like me involved in organized tutor/mentor programs, then pointing them to materials that help them better understand America's history of racism and inequality, reinforced by intentional policy choices.  

The only way to create change is to get many, many more people personally involved.  Thus, making more and better tutor/mentor programs available through Chicago and in other places, would increase the pool of volunteers, and potential activist.  That's been my focus for the past 28 years. 

To support my learning, and the volunteers in the program I led (more than 4000 from 1975 to 1992), I started building a library in the 1970s. When we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 we dramatically expanded that library, and made it available to leaders of any tutor/mentor program in Chicago.   

In 1998 we started putting the library and our ideas on the Internet, where they have been available for the past 24 years to people throughout the world.  

I use concept maps to show information in the library as well as strategies for helping programs grow in more places.  One section aggregates links to websites and articles with information similar to what was presented in the Federal Reserve Bank webinars. 

School is starting and all tutor/mentor programs are seeking volunteers. See my list of Chicago area programs at this link.  If churches, businesses, media, sports, etc. use their media to point potential volunteers to lists like mine we help volunteers connect with programs in every part of a city.  Do this in addition to pointing to your favorite programs.

Getting volunteers involved is only the first step. Keeping them involved, helping them become effective tutors and/or mentors is an on-going step.  Growing their understanding of issues and turning them into activist is a step further. 

Here are blog articles I encourage you to read:

Volunteer Growth. Helping Kids Through School: How Can We Do this Better?  click here

Mentor Role in a Larger Strategy - click here 

There are many, many more related articles on this blog. I hope you'll make it a consistent part of your personal learning and you will encourage others to do the same.

I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and hope you'll connect with me on one or more of these platforms.  

I also have a "Fund T/MI" page where you can use PayPal to send me a contribution to help keep these resources freely available to you and others. 

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