Monday, February 12, 2024

Multiplying Good - Map the Network

Over the past few months and years I've seen many posts on social media, showing a professional athlete's support for mentoring. During last week's Super Bowl I saw players from each NFL team nominated for the 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, given for outstanding community service. You can see them here.

It's great to see the generous, community-focused, work these people are doing. 

As I watched the NFL Honors program I posted this Tweet.
It shows a map of Chicago with high poverty areas indicated.  It was signed in the mid 1990s by eleven retired professional athletes to indicate their support of an "Adopt-a-Neighborhood" idea that I began promoting in the 1990s.   

As I looked at the many posts about athletes supporting mentoring, and the NFL Honors videos showing athletes supporting many different efforts in their communities I wondered if anyone had tried to create a web library, and/or concept map, building lists of athletes/celebrities from every sport, focused on specific issues.

Below are two examples of what I am thinking about.

This concept map shows organizations in Chicago who serve as intermediaries, supporting multiple youth-serving organizations who provide specific types of support, such as STEM, Arts, tutoring and/or mentoring.  Under each node is a link to the organization's website. 

This next concept map shows issues that affect people in every community, both affluent and economically challenged. Note that in the lower left corner I show the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) graphic. That shows issues many athletes/celebrities already support. 

Now, what if someone were creating a map like the first one above, showing athletes and celebrities in each major city, and/or the foundations they support.  For instance addiction and drug abuse is on my map and it affects rich and poor people, in some similar ways, but in many different ways.  Many athletes have adopted addition as their cause.  A map like the one above would show all of those.

A map like the one below would have links to web libraries, or other concept maps, that aggregated this information from every city across the country.

Here's a page from my library, showing links to websites with information about Black history.  This could be a list of athletes/celebrities who focus on addiction and drug abuse, or self esteem, or mentoring, or any of the many different issues shown on my concept map and the SDGs map.  It could be focused on a single city, or nationally and internationally.  

And below, is a concept map showing the categories of homework and learning resources that I host in the library.  

The nodes on this map could be the same as the ones in the Race-Poverty map I show above. The links would point to other concept maps showing athletes/celebrities in different cities who support that cause, and to web libraries that contain lists of websites with the same information.

Why collect this?  To learn from each other and improve work being done.

This should be a no-brainer for sports professionals. Coaches are constantly learning from each other. They have libraries of film that they study to spur innovation and constant improvement.

Why can't something like this support what athletes and celebrities do to help create a better world?

Who could be doing this work?  

This could be a project of students in any school, starting in middle school and continuing to PhD work at a local university.  

I've posted articles in the past about universities adopting the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy, which is based on this type of information gathering and sharing. 

I hope you'll read some of these and that local sports stars will also take a look. Maybe the NFL, NBA, WNBA or another sports business will provide the funds for this research and will host it on websites where they honor athletes for the good work they do.

Maybe an award will go to those doing the best work of aggregating and sharing this information.

5-1-2024 update - here's an example of aggregating and mapping information about athletes.  This is a map showing where NHL players were born. 

Like the idea? Share it.  

Skim through articles I've posted in the past about the role athletes and celebrities could be taking, beyond the good work they already do.

Connect with me on social media and let's talk about ways we can use information to support problem solving.  You can find links to my social media platforms on this page.

If you value the ideas and information I'm sharing, please make a contribution and help Fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC


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