Tuesday, December 12, 2023

These "Calls to Action" Need New Energy

Yesterday I took a look at the first newsletter sent in June 1993 by the new organization I and six other volunteers had created in late 1992.  The message below was included.

This was the first page.

You can open and read the PDF at this link.  I put a President's Message in my newsletters in each issue from 1993 through 2002. After that I put the message in email newsletters and starting in 2005, in this blog.   In this issue I started by saying "There are kids all over Chicago who don't have anyone taking an interest in them. Cabrini Connections is changing that."

The headline of the newsletter was "Do the Right Thing!".  

I was prompted to form Cabrini Connections, and the Tutor/Mentor Connection in October 1992, following the shooting death of 7-year old Dantrel Davis in Cabrini Green, the neighborhood served by the tutor/mentor program I had led from 1975 to September 1992.

The Chicago SunTimes front page said "7-Year Old's Death at Cabrini Requires Action"

Sadly, I've seen editorials like that in Chicago media often over the past 30 years. I've seen a lot of action, and a lot of money spent, but nothing strategic and on-going that would reach kids in all high poverty areas and do more to help them through school and into adult lives.

I put this 1993 Chicago SunTimes article and graphic in this 2015 article

Here's another from the same article

The 1993 SunTimes article concludes "While Chicago has “had all these sincere people making good efforts, one group working on poverty, one on education reform, one on community policing, these problems are too interwoven and too immense. The city needs all anti-poverty efforts “at the same table”.

Here's something more recent:

I included this in an April 2023 article with the headline "Crime and Violence in Chicago - Not New".  If you take time to scroll through the media articles on this blog, you'll find dozens of similar stories.

Below are two graphic you'll find in many articles, showing the need to build a distribution of youth tutor, mentor and learning programs in every high poverty area of the city, with non-school locations where kids and volunteers can meet regularly.  

Here's another graphic with the same idea

A citywide strategy needs to recruit and support teams of leaders who support individual programs, neighborhoods full of programs and a city full of programs.  Such a strategy needs to be part of a "learning organization" where everyone involved is constantly learning from the work being done by others, so they innovate improvement from year-to-year, rather than constantly starting over.  And such a strategy has to be supported by business, philanthropy, politics and every other sector, so their is a distribution of resources to fund every part of this ecosystem.

Such a "learning organization" is supported by libraries and websites such as the one I host at http://www.tutormentorexchange.net 

I've been sharing these ideas for over 30 years, since launching the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993.  However, now I'm turning 77 and don't know how many more years I have left to do this.

Thus, new leaders who share this vision need to step forward and take ownership, preferably by putting my archives in a university structure where the articles and PDF essays are curriculum that students learn from in preparation for leading this strategy during their adult lives.

I've posted several articles in the "A New T/MC" collection that will give you an idea of what is needed. I hope you'll read these, share them, or encourage others to do the reading and sharing.

In the short term, please consider a contribution to help me pay the bills and keep sharing these ideas in 2024.

You can contribute to my 77th birthday campaign - click here

Or to the Fund T/MI campaign - click here

Thank you for reading and sharing. 

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