Saturday, February 17, 2024

Locating places with persistent poverty

My Twitter feed brought a new report to my attention this week. It's titled "Persistently poor, left-behind and chronically disconnected" and was written by Kenan Fikri who I've been following for a while.  (I'll use Persistent Poverty to refer to this report in the rest of this article.)

The map below was what caught my attention.  It shows areas of concentrated poverty in six Ohio cities.

I wrote about this on the Mapping For Justice blog a few days ago. You can read that article here

Today I zoomed into the interactive map shared on the Economic Innovation Group website to look more closely at different parts of the country where some of my #CLMOOC educator friends live. 

This map shows Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

This map shows Kentucky and Tennessee

This map shows Washington State

This map shows Chicago, Milwaukee and the area surrounding Lake Michigan. 

This map shows Washington, DC and Baltimore

What these maps show is that the places of concentrated, persistent poverty, are not everywhere. They are small parts of big cities like Chicago, or big states.  The mapping  platform is interactive, so you can look at other places and you can zoom in to the neighborhood level.  

Below is a screen shot showing the abstract describing the research where I found these maps.  

The abstract shows a focus on social networks and social capital and says "these problems tend not to resolve themselves naturally".
I've used maps since 1994 to try to draw attention and resources to high poverty areas of Chicago to help volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs grow and stay connected to youth and volunteers for many years.

Below are two images that illustrate this commitment:

The first is the front page of the 1995 Chicago Tutor/Mentor Programs Directory.  The map's shaded areas are places of concentrated, persistent poverty.  In the Directory, I listed volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs and provide contact information so parents, volunteers, donors, media, educators and social workers can find them.  View PDF of the Directory.

The second is my Total Quality Mentoring graphic.  This shows the goal of connecting youth living in high poverty areas with volunteers from different places and backgrounds, as mentors, tutors, activity organizers, friends and coaches.  

View this PDF to see my vision of leaders from different industries using their own time and talent to mobilize volunteers and donors to support tutor/mentor programs in different high poverty areas of Chicago. 

The role of intermediaries.  The graphic below shows the role the Tutor/Mentor Connection has taken since forming in 1993, and that the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC has continued to support since forming in 2011.

Read articles posted on this website since 2005 and the Mapping for Justice blog since 2008, and the site since 1999, and you'll see the information I've aggregated and shared to support efforts to help build and sustain mentor-rich programs in all high poverty areas of Chicago and other places.

The maps showing persistent poverty in America show other places where an information-based intermediary like the Tutor/Mentor Connection is needed.  My graphics and articles show the active role the intermediary needs to take to draw users to this information, help them understand it, and help them apply it to bring volunteers and dollars to every youth serving program in every high poverty place, for many years.

Colleges and universities in every city and state could create tutor/mentor connection research programs do duplicate the work I've piloted since 1993.  This PDF shows this goal.  All it takes is for one, or two, wealthy alumni to provide the money to pay for such a program, along with a dedicated faculty member who wants to lead this for the next 30 years or more. 

I've shared this story for many years. Every city needs people doing the same, for as long, and reaching more people.  Learn from my example. Borrow from my files Create your own libraries, blog articles and visual essays. 

Or, accept that we'll still have areas of persistent poverty 30 years from now.

You can find me on social media at Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Mastodon and more places. Find links here

At the right is a 1994 story from the Chicago SunTimes, showing how I traded my advertising job at the Montgomery Ward corporation to lead a tutor/mentor program.  The teen in the photo is now the mother of two college age boys, holds at least one MBA, and is a successful business woman.  That was our goal when we launched our program.

That can be the future for many kids living in high poverty areas, if you'll help organized, on-going, tutor/mentor programs reach them.

Do you value what I'm writing? Make a small contribution to help Fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute,  LLC. visit this page

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