Earlier this week, I argued that poverty is your problem.
I cited “cost of poverty” reports that estimate the costs to the U.S. associated with childhood poverty at $500B per year, or the equivalent of nearly 4 percent of GDP.
Burdens associated with the costs of poverty (social-, crime-related, and welfare-related programs) are yours, even if you live far from the ghetto. See, it's your tax money paying for the bandaid policies our leaders often use when they aren't listening to researchers who urge "social investment" - investment in programs, projects, and policy that attack the roots of poverty over the long-term...
Tutor/Mentor Programs attack the roots of the problem with an eye on the future, working to empower inner-city students at young ages with the tools, guidance and edge they will need to advocate for themselves, make good decisions, and ultimately make positive contributions to the economy.
WE ARE WEAPONS WAITING TO BE UNLEASHED
Tutor Mentor Connection (T/MC) and Mapping For Justice (MFJ) are potential weapons in this battle to curb poverty-related costs.
See, The T/MC and MFJ provide strategies and innovative map tools – a toolkit that helps community leaders analyze need, build alliances, and take action to support new tutor/mentor programs. Together, we are helping to connect at-risk youth in their formative years with guides who know what it takes to get better grades, and navigate their way to careers.
With more social investment from Chicago's business, political, faith, and community leaders, we can do even more in 2010.
DON'T KID YOURSELF
Many argue, "This is their parents' job, not mine!" ignoring the reality: Many of these kids don't have parents with this guidance. Instead, many of our current and future neighbors get their direction and "career" training from the streets.
And it's costing you and me to continue gambling that this will suddenly changes on its own overnight.
NEW WEAPONS LAUNCHING IN 2010
In 2010, MFJ will co-produce a few events, and provide new stories/maps that make more sense of all this – stories you aren’t likely to see in the media (until we start demanding it).
It is my hope to continue blending my map/tech/education skills with T/MC strategy to directly impact the way we look at poverty, the way media addresses this crisis we all face, and the way leadership looks at policy.
It is my hope to increase my capacity to equip more leaders with these weapons... these tools... and take T/MC and MFJ to a new level of effectiveness in doing what we can to address the costs of poverty.
We are looking for new social investment: appropriate grant money, PR and marketing assistance, and sponsorship for our 2010 events, in order to maximize impact, and get our quality tools into the hands of more community leaders and policymakers. Contact me if you have grant, marketing, or sponsorship leads!
Check back next week for a preview of the 2010 events we're co-sponsoring, and how you can participate!
Meantime, have some fun with a few of the kids at Cabrini Connections Tech Club: http://www.giveforward.org/tems/