Monday, November 28, 2016

Income Inequality in Cities - Using ESRI StoryMap

This image is from an ESRI Storymap titled "Wealth Divides" that you can find at this link.

This demonstrates a growing ability to use story maps to build a greater understanding of how some places are blessed with great wealth while others are less fortunate due to great poverty.

I'll reach out to ESRI, but the next layer of information on maps like this should be borrowed from my own  history of building map overlays that show locations of non-school tutor and/or mentoring programs in different neighborhoods, as part of a strategy intended to draw resources to existing programs while helping new programs start where few or none exist.

Here's a blog article that illustrates how I've been trying to use maps. Imagine what might result if teams of students, volunteers and map-makers were duplicating the Tutor/Mentor Connection's 4-part strategy, and were producing map stories using current StoryMap tools, to draw attention to inequality, violence and other indicators of need, and were drawing resources to organizations working to reduce those inequalities.

That could be happening in every part of the world if a few leaders would step forward to make it happen.

11/30/16 update: Here's a New York Times story about immigration, that uses maps and animation to tell the story in a visual way.

12/20/16 update: Here's another ESRI storymap, this time telling the story of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

1/11/17 update: Story map showing 10 most segregated cities in the US

Friday, November 18, 2016

CPS School Librarians - cut from the budget

This map shows Chicago public schools with librarians and those without.  It's from this article which was written by Anne Li and posted in the South Side Weekly.

I've been using maps for many years to show areas where kids need extra help, such as non-school tutor and mentor programs, due to living in areas of high poverty.  This is just one more example of how kids in affluent areas get greater support and learning opportunities than kids in high poverty, highly segregated areas.

Browse through other articles on this MappingforJustice blog site and see more maps telling this story.

Create your own map story and or blog article and help draw attention to this problem.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Using data maps to tell stories

This is a screen shot showing an Opportunity Youth map on Policy Link's National Equity Atlas data platform.  I have been listening to webinars for the past year, in which Policy Link shows features on its site and explains how to make your own map.  The archive of today's webinar is here and slides are here

While this map view shows the entire United States, the next image shows a close up view of Phoenix.  The Equity Atlas has data for the 150 largest cities, so a similar map could be created for Chicago, Dallas, NYC, Detroit, etc.

As I watched the webinar my primary concern was "Where is the talent in a city who can create map stories out of this data?" I'd add, "Is there a marketing/PR team, focused on creating on-going map stories that reach people with enough frequency that they begin to respond to what the maps are showing.

Shortly after watching the PolicyLink webinar, I came across this message in my Twitter feed:

The graphic at the left is just one page out of many in this presentation, that helps people in this suburban community better understand a problem that only has a direct affect on a a small percent of the population, but has an indirect impact on the entire community.

I present these two different uses of maps to illustrate the type of data that is available to leaders and community advocates in Chicago and other places, as well as the ways data can be turned into stories.

If you browse past articles on this blog, and the Tutor/Mentor blog, you'll see that I have been creating maps for nearly 20 years, with the goal that people use them to fill poverty neighborhoods of Chicago with high quality, non-school tutoring, mentoring and learning programs, along with other supports, that enable more kids living in these areas to move safely through school and into jobs and adult roles.

I created this concept map to point to many other data mapping platforms that can be used to create story maps. Here's the link.

For this to happen, many people need to be creating story maps, and many others need to be sharing them regularly.  That will require leadership from business, universities, foundations and political leaders.

If I can help you think this through, lets connect.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Divided Nation - Rural vs Urban America

On Saturday, Ann Medlock, of the Giraffe Heroes Project, shared a story on Facebook that prompted me to write this.  The article is titled "How Half Of America Lost Its F**king Mind" and was talking about how so many American's are supporting Donald Trump for President.

I read the article and encourage you to read it too.  If you live in a city, some of the ideas may turn you off, or challenge your thinking. If you live in rural America, or grew up there, you might say, as the author did, "That could be me."

Included in the article was a map showing the 2012 Presidential Election voting, on a county-by county basis.

The red counties on this map represent rural, mostly White, America. The blue counties represent urban America, with much larger populations of people of color. Reading the article I began to look at "TWO Americas" from a "rural-urban" perspective, not just from a "White-Minority" or "Rich-Poor" perspective.

Of course, they are all related.

What's driving the motivation of rural America is a changing economy that has caused factories and jobs to leave smaller cities and rural areas, leaving poverty and a lack of hope in its wake. The article talks about how popular culture (movies, TV, radio, music), coming out of urban Ameria, have helped prepare rural America to accept Trump. One line in the article was, "He's our "asxhxxle"

I did a little more digging today, and visited the web site of Mark Newman  There are several more maps on the site, like the one below. This shows that not all of the Red counties are 100% Republican and not all of the Blue counties are 100% Democratic.

What this map does not show is the racial mix across America.  The article about rural America voting for Trump does not focus on the race and inequality issues that Black American's have been focusing on, yet it's there.

I recalled another web site that I saw a couple of years ago, with what's called a "Racial Dot Map". I've included a screen shot below, showing the full country.  The map has color coded dots showing where different racial groups are most concentrated.
You will need to open the site and zoom in to get better information from this map, but just by comparing this to the map above, you see two patterns. A large part of the Republican counties East of the Mississippi are high majority White. Cities and urban areas across the country have high minority populations.  However, the areas West of the Mississippi, mostly Republican, have very low population density. This is lack of population density is a different rural America than Appalachia and the US South.   I encourage you to read Newman's article and see how he describes how population density affects the general election vote, as well as the Electoral College vote.

My take-away?

First, the issues of race and poverty in America are complex, and getting consistent attention of people in Red and Blue states will be difficult.  For the past 40 years I have focused on helping urban areas build and sustain non-school support systems for youth living in poverty.  However, I've recognized that there needs to be a parallel group duplicating my efforts, with a focus on rural areas. I recently found an organization called Rural Assembly, who is doing some of this.

Second, the problems facing rural American and its loss of jobs, rising poverty, growing drug abuse and suicide rates is also a wicked problem, that won't be solved by more tutor/mentor programs. It's not a problem I've spent much time thinking about, since the problems I do focus on are far beyond my own area of influence.

However, graphics like this illustrate a path toward possible solutions. It shows how a few of us can reach out to others, and build a network of learners, which grows over time. 

In articles on the Tutor/Mentor blog I focus on learning, complex problems, network building, etc. These do apply to both of the issues this article focuses on.  Getting more people personally engaged in learning about the problems we face, and using their own time, talent and dollars to build solutions, is the one strategy that I keep sharing that can lead to a more connected America focusing on problems, not personalities, and focusing on well-thought-out solutions, not vague promises. 

I hope you'll take a look.

Note: Jan 27, 2017 update.  The election is over and Trump won. People on the left are in panic mode fearing the destruction of our democracy by a Hitler-like Trump. Poor people who voted for Trump are likely to suffer as much, or more, from program cuts he is proposing. So why did they vote for him?  This MotherJones article offers a look into that voter and his motivations.   For people on the left to create an alternative to Trump, they need to understand and find ways to connect with people who voted for Trump.

Note: Jan 31, 2017  update - this site show the most conservative and most liberal states in the US, emphasizing how difficult it will be to build a middle ground consensus in America.

Note: Feb 18, 2017 update - This link points to a set of articles, starting with "America's long (unaddressed) history of class.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

View Healthy Chicago 2.0 strategy presentation

In 2014 I posted this article introducing the Chicago Health Atlas web site.  It's part of a series of articles I've posted on this blog, and the Tutor/Mentor blog, showing public health strategies and how they support the growth of non-school tutor/mentor programs in high poverty areas.

Today I was able to view a strategic planning document from the Chicago Department of Public Health, as part of the Healthy Chicago 2.0 initiative. It's full of maps and data and shows a goal of generating involvement from all sectors of the Chicago region.  What's even better, this initiative is led by a former Cabrini Connections volunteer, Nic Prachand.

I have reached out to hospital and public health leaders since the late 1990s to build partnership and strategies that fill neighborhoods around each hospital with a wide range of non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs.

I hope I can find a way to have a meaningful role in the Healthy Chicago 2.0 initiative.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Chicago Life Expectancy Maps

This map is one of many that you can find on a Chicago Life Expectancy web site, compiled by a team from DePaul University in Chicago.

These were introduced to myself and a group of others at the monthly ChicagoCityData user group meet-up, held at the Microsoft headquarters in Chicago.

Spend some time browsing these maps, then scroll through articles posted on this site, showing other mapping platforms and ways people are turning  maps into stories intended to build public awareness, mobilize resources and fill map areas with needed solutions.  Also visit the links, and you'll find an extensive library of links to other GIS platforms being used in the US and the world to focus attention on areas with high poverty, health disparities, inequality, etc.

I was one of nearly 100 people at the meet up, so there's not much opportunity to engage in a deep and on-going conversation with presenters, or other participants.  In the Tutor/Mentor blog I've been pointing to cMOOCs, such as the Connected Learning #clmooc, where the format encourages the type of on-going conversation and idea sharing that I feel would be valuable in many sectors.

If any readers want to help set up, or sponsor, this type of conversation focused on uses of spatial thinking and tools, or the broader conversations that I focus on, please introduce yourself.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Impact of schools closing in Chicago

These maps were included in a 2013 blog article talking about a wave of school closings in Chicago.

Now The Chicago Reporter web site has an article, along with an interactive map, updating us on the continuing negative impact of these closures.

Use these and other maps that you find on this blog to build an understanding of these neighborhoods and ways to help build and sustain a wide range of non-school tutor, mentor, learning and jobs programs in every high poverty neighborhood of the city.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Rising Crime and Declining Population - an analysis

Today I found two articles on the Metropolitan Planning Council web site that focus on crime rates in Chicago and declining population.

Sept 14 - Data Points: Are crime and population loss connected in Chicago? - click here

Sept 29 -  Data Points: How Chicago's crime rate and population change stack up against other cities - click here

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Understanding growing drug crisis in America

If you browse articles on this blog, going back to 2008, you'll see that my focus has been on urban poverty and its causes, and on volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs as part of the solutions.

Today my Twitter feed included this post.
The maps in this post are from a Wall Street Journal article (see link in Tweet) which shows the growth of the drug crisis in America since 1990.

In articles on this blog and the Tutor/Mentor blog I have pointed to this concept map, showing four actions that need to be taking place to help people solve complex problems that they are concerned with.  You can find this map here, and it's described in this presentation.

While my web library has many articles about poverty, and showing how to use GIS maps, it does not focus on the drug crisis, solution providers, and places where people are interacting and trying to figure out ways to reduce this plague.

This concept map shows the research sub sections in the Tutor/Mentor web library. Why are tutor/mentor programs needed? Where are they most needed?

If someone has a good web library focused on the drug crisis, with links to other resources beyond their own, share a link with me in the comment section and I'll add another node to this map, pointing to your site(s).

I'm sure that as we look at the maps, we'll see that some of the places I've been focusing on will be the same places where drugs are a problem.  However, we'll also see many places in smaller cities and towns where this is a huge problem.

This graphic shows a process that we need to be going through, in places all over the country. I describe it in this blog article and this presentation.  

As more communities and organizations begin to organize this process, we can connect with each other in online communities, enabling a sharing of ideas, identification of common problems, and innovation of solutions to solve these problems.

Perhaps that common bond will bring more of us together in efforts that find solutions.

NOTE: view the comments sections for new articles on this topic that have been discovered since this original post was written.

Jan 2017 update: This interactive map shows locations where people died of drug overdoses, and tells stories of who those people were.

Feb 27, 2017 update: The Poynter Institute is offering a free one-day workshop in New York on March 3, 2017 (and in other cities after that) to help journalists cover the unfolding story of the Opiod Crisis. Visit the web site for more information and updates.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Building Youth Support System - Role of Libraries, Hospitals

If you browse articles posted on this blog since 2008, and on the Tutor/Mentor Institute blog since 2005,  you'll see maps used to show areas of Chicago and other cities where youth and families need a wide range of extra support to help young people move through school and into adult lives free of poverty.

In many of these articles I focus on the proactive role that business, philanthropy, hospitals and other anchor organizations can take. In this article I'm going to illustrate this strategy, focusing on libraries and hospitals.

I'm using the New York City Public Library system as my example.

The map at the right shows locations of New York City Public Libraries. Click here to visit the site and zoom in on the map.  As with most cities, libraries are spread throughout the city.

This summer I connected with a New York City organization called IntegrateNYC4me, which engages young people in communication information about school segregation in New York City Public Schools. Here's the Research Page of their web site.  Below is a copy of their map, showing segregated schools in NYC.

I zoomed in on both maps, focusing on an area where there are a large number of segregated schools. Below are two maps showing the area between 125th St and 175th Street.  The map on the left s hows libraries in the area and the map on the right shows highly segregated public schools in the same area.

Students at each school in this map area could be building map views like this. They could do neighborhood research to learn about non school tutor/mentor programs located within a 1 mile (or half mile) radius of each library, then adding that information to the map, as I do with the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator Interactive map.  Such maps could also show other assets in the area, such as businesses, banks, faith groups, hospitals, colleges, etc., as well as political leaders who represent the area. This Asset Map section of the Program Locator enables users to build map views showing indicators of need, locations of existing tutor/mentor programs, and assets within the same map-area. (note - the Program Locator has not been funded since 2010, thus serves as a model for this example).

Each library could be partnering with youth groups, and volunteers from area businesses and/or colleges, to create maps and share this information, and to host meetings, to discuss the availability of non-school learning supports, or other resources, that would help kids in neighboring schools have better learning opportunities.   Such meetings can focus on information in the library, that shows the impact of poverty and segregation on the neighborhood and the wider NYC region, as well as information in web libraries like the one created by the T/MC since the early 1990s.  

ICONS placed on the library map and on the schools map could show which libraries have such a program in place. I put circles on the map above, to illustrate this.

Over a two to three period each library should have a program in place to fill the library neighborhood with rich learning resources. Foundations and government offices should have maps on their own web sites, showing where they are funding and supporting such efforts!  Maps in local media should be showing the growth of these efforts in high poverty areas, just as frequently as they show maps with the number of homicides in a city.

Students working with this project could also learn to do evaluation and recognition mapping.  The map at the right shows people who attended a Tutor/Mentor Conference in Chicago, with different icons showing the affiliation of the participant. The goal is that such events bring all of the stake-holders from the map area into on-going efforts that lead to more and better youth serving organizations in the area around every public library that operates in a poverty areas, or one with highly segregated and poorly resourced schools.

Putting participation information on the map is one task. Creating blog articles, media stories, podcasts and videos to give positive recognition to those who are involved in this effort is a second set of necessary actions.

Students, at the high school or college level, even Jr. High School level, could even be writing up process and "how we did it" reports, as part of on-going learning, and could be sharing strategies from one library-neighborhood with others, in NYC and in other cities, via cMOOCs organized around the Connected Learning (#clmooc) format. 

Here are a few more maps that illustrate this thinking: First is a map showing Brooklyn, NY public libraries and segregated schools. The map of all Brooklyn, NYC libraries can be found here.
This map shows locations of Chicago Public Libraries, with insets showing libraries on the South Side of Chicago.   The same process I describe for NYC could be taking place in Chicago and every other city with areas of highly concentrated, segregated poverty.  

The map below shows the location of Sinai Hospital, on Chicago's West side, within the 9th Illinois State Representative District. It's from a series of stories written in 2009 to show the role this hospital, or others in the map-area, could take to help mentor-rich programs grow in the areas surrounding it.

Another article showing Sinai Hospital, and a strategy that can fill the surrounding neighborhood with mentor-rich programs, can be found here.  An article showing how youth could use maps in stories following media coverage of violence in a neighborhood, can be found here.

Anyone can duplicate the stories I write. Most can do it better! Do it!

Teams of youth and volunteers, working with modern GIS technologies, can create similar map collections, showing indicators of need for extra help, and showing organizations already operating in the map-area, offering various forms of  help, and showing assets who could be providing more consistent help, since they also are part of the map-area.  This presentation shows how to use platforms like the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, to create  your own map stories.

Maps created by the Tutor/Mentor Connection from 1994-2011, do not focus on libraries, police stations, fire stations or other anchor organizations, but these are all institutions spread throughout a city, which could be leading community mapping and mobilization efforts intending to make their district the safest and best place to live, work and raise families.

If you'd like to explore these ideas further, let's connect. If you're already doing this, share your blog or web site address in the comment section below or on Twitter or Facebook.

If you'd like to sponsor the Program Locator and help the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC rebuild it's mapping capacity, visit this page.

March 2017 update - this web site includes maps showing segregated schools in NYC

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The nation's most chronically absent students

This set of maps shows that half of the students who are chronically absent from school are concentrated in just 4% of school districts.  
Click on the tab for "High Minority High Poverty Urban School Districts" and  you'll see that Chicago is included.

In past articles I've emphasized how big cities have unique challenges and opportunities and we should be connecting in on-line forums, blogs, Twitter chats, etc. to share ideas and innovate ways to generate the public will and flow of resources needed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Using Maps to Build Awareness and Support for Solutions to Poverty

This map image comes from the web site and shows the child opportunity index for the Chicago region.

The lighter colored areas are neighborhoods where youth have less opportunities than in other places.

These are areas where non-school, volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and learning organizations are most needed, along with many other poverty reduction solutions.

A nice feature of this site is that  you can create a map view of Chicago, Boston or another city, then save it as a jpg, using a feature built into the site. Then you can include the image in a blog like I've done here.

It's another example of how maps can be used to focus attention, and resources, on all of the high-needs areas of a big city like Chicago.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Uses of maps to plan business involvement

This article was first written in 2009 by Mike Traken, who was the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) map maker from 2008-2011. I've updated it for 2016.

Mike wrote, "I decided to focus on clearing up any possible confusion as to what we do at the T/MC. Because the work that the T/MC does is really complicated, multi-faceted, and potentially confusing at first.  What exactly does the T/MC want to accomplish? You can read about it... you can listen to us talk all day long... but maps give a visual to grab onto, and it's effective."

"Tutor/Mentor Connection" (TM/C) doesn't work with the kids directly in any single neighborhood (although from 1993-2011 it was part of a single program called Cabrini Connections).   Instead, it keeps a database of ALL T/M Programs operating in Chicago. . T/MC acts as a central directory where parents can find a program that specializes in their kids' needs (location, age group served, etc.)

But more! T/MC is looking to share ideas, goals, and strategies among all programs... an exchange of ideas - to ensure that existing programs maximize their growth/potential with their particular group of kids. Many documents geared toward this sharing these ideas exist in the T/MC's forums and in their web library - through the Tutor/Mentor Institute. Additionally, T/MC occasionally organizes a semi-annual conference to bring as many people together as possible to exchange ideas and information in person.

But more still! T/MC analyzes the program location data to determine where programs do NOT exist - where, among the most impoverished, high-need areas... where kids are lost in school and running the streets - do we need leadership in creating NEW T/M programs? What resources out there can host and/or finance these new programs... and what resources are available for getting the word out to people who do not even know these programs exist?

This is where maps are extremely helpful. This is what I do."

So, below are a few maps that Mike created, along with his description of the maps. Mike wrote:

First, the location of all Baptist Churches in Chicago. Notice how many are concentrated in high-poverty, high-need areas:

These churches and their congregations may not have the financial support needed to support the existing programs. But they would make great locations for NEW programs in neighborhoods where the school system is failing the children, and where these students desperately need additional tutoring and mentoring. And the church leaders here can broadcast the message to unknowing parents in the congregation, and make them aware that T/M services exist for their children's benefit.

Here's a map showing Lutheran Churches:

Of course, there are Lutheran congregations in high-poverty areas too - and these can serve many of the same functions as the Baptists. But, those in more affluent areas might want to help in other ways too. Perhaps members in the wealthier suburbs who commute, using highways that slice through the high-poverty areas, can take some time each week to volunteer as a mentor. Perhaps their places of employment have philanthropic money budgeted and would like to help contribute financially.

Of course, we here at T/MC have mapped the locations of many other Christian denominations, as well as the locations of Jewish, and Non-Judeo-Christian faiths. Mike simply chose these two as examples.

Next, is a map which illustrates how political leaders can organize resources in their districts, using the Illinois 14th Senate District map.

(click on the map above to see "full-sized")

This map shows the location of universities and hospitals which might have faculty/employees/students/leaders who want to work in a hosting, donating, or informational capacity... to support the kids who reside in the 14th district. Of course, we're not intending to single out the 14th district. This is just one district chosen to exemplify how the TM/C maps can help leaders in a given community organize their efforts to support tutoring and mentoring.

Ultimately the benefit is for everyone. Educated kids who get off the street, take a vested interest in a democracy, help participate in our local economies, and ultimately become leaders themselves... In many communities, some kids are afraid to leave their house, as the Sun-Times reports, due to the rampant frustration, hopelessness, and crime. The TM/C creates maps to supplement the negative news stories, looking for solutions through available resources in communities where crime is featured in the media:

(click on the map above to see "full-sized")
Sounds great, doesn't it? Who would oppose helping kids, families, and communities in need? 

Mike wrote, "When I first got here, I assumed maybe the business community would be a little removed and cold toward programs that do not immediately affect their bottom line.

I was wrong. Companies like CVS have a strong philanthropic presence in the community:"

So do many, if not all, of the Fortune 500/1000 companies in town:

And elite groups/organizations of professionals, such as lawyers:

Law firms, businesses, other professionals - many see that investing in the area's impoverished communities can help build new markets, replenish struggling markets, and groom new employees, for the benefit of the local economy and in the fight against crime. These organizations are invaluable sources of desperately-needed revenue, volunteers, and information-sharing for T/M programs everywhere. TM/C wants to create new partnerships and inspire more participation among professionals/businessmen everywhere.

Browse articles written from 2008 through mid 2011 that show more examples of maps and how they can be used.

Unfortunately, due to the financial crisis that started in late 2007 and still has a negative impact, the Tutor/Mentor Connection was not able to continue to fund the map making position after 2010 and new maps like these have not been created since then.

In addition, the on-line program locator, created in 2008, which has been used to make maps like the ones shown below, has also not had funding since 2009, thus it's not been updated and some features no longer work..

Since 2011 this blog has shared map stories created using the Program Locator, and has pointed to new map platforms hosted by others, which can also be used to make map stories.  It would be a great project for a company, and company team, to adopt the Tutor/Mentor Connection and become a partner with the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, so these resources can be updated, and made available in cities across the world.

If interested, let's connect. Find me on Twitter @tutormentorteam or Linkedin or Facebook.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Race Riots Hit Milwaukee - Missed Opportunity

Pent up anger has now been unleashed in Milwaukee, following a police shooting. This follows Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore. What city will be next?

I started the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in Chicago in 1993 with a goal of helping volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring programs grow in high poverty neighborhoods.  I used a quarterly newsletter to share this vision and to share information from my web library. In the mid 1990s I was invited by the Milwaukee Foundation to add about a dozen organizations from Milwaukee to the distribution list, which I did.  In the following years I met with leaders from Milwaukee, and people representing Milwaukee programs came to Chicago for the spring and fall Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences.

However, this never led to adoption of the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy in Milwaukee.  It's never been adopted in Chicago, either.

Below is a map that shows the racial concentrations in Milwaukee. I've pointed to this mapping platform below, showing racial distribution in Chicago.

If someone in Milwaukee were leading a T/MC strategy they would be able to produce a map like this, with overlays showing locations of non-school tutoring, mentoring and learning programs.  Using that map the would be leading a year-round marketing campaign intended to draw volunteers and donors to existing programs, while helping groups create new programs where more are needed. They would have people meeting regularly to share ideas and they would have people connecting with programs in Chicago and other cities to borrow ideas from more places.

The first map below was created using the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, which the T/MC built in 2008, but which has not been funded since 2010. It's a model that should be duplicated. It is also a starting point for people who want to partner in stead of starting from scratch.

This second map is from a article, showing cities around the country with the same problems as Milwaukee, Chicago, Baltimore, etc. I wrote about it here.

Leaders in everyone of these cities should be reading this article that I shared on the I-Open Blog, which focuses on the Cleveland, OH area.

If you cannot answer "YES, We do." you should be creating a team to begin digging into the ideas I have been sharing for the past 20 years, and you should be inviting me to meet with you to help you understand and apply those ideas.

It's not a quick fix.  But you don't want to look back in a few years an say "I wish we had done that."

8-21-16 UPDATE:  Here's a New  York Times article titled "Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation".   In addition, here is a concept map showing the research section of the Tutor/Mentor web library, which included many articles related to place, race and poverty.   Until many more people are reading these articles, and combining their learning with direct interaction across race and poverty boundaries, too few will have enough information or commitment to actually find solutions.

12-27-16 UPDATE:  Here's another article that uses maps to focus on violence in Milwaukee.  Here's article I wrote showing need for groups of people --a village-- to form in different neighborhoods to try to solve these problems.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Invitation to Mega-City Leaders - Let's Connect

The graphic below shows the largest cities in the world. You can find it on this page, which features an interactive map showing growth of mega cities over the past 100 years.

I have written articles in the past, such as this one, stating that cities with populations of over 1 million, especially those with populations over 10 million, have unique challenges and opportunities due to the size of the city, the bureaucracy, and the isolation of people living in areas of concentrated poverty.

I've created concept maps and visualizations that show the planning process and commitment needed by people in every sector and zip code of a city to help close the gaps between rich and poor. Here are a few:

Leadership Commitment. Mentoring Kids To Careers. See map.

Four part strategy.  Actions needed to achieve commitment. See here.  See description here.

Planning Process. Including building "public will".  See explanation.

Throughout this blog, the Tutor/Mentor blog and the Tutor/Mentor Exchange blog, I constantly demonstrate a use of maps to focus attention on were people need the most help, and to support efforts that draw needed resources to each of these areas.

If you live in one of the cities shown on the map above, and you're concerned about the impact of poverty, inequality, youth isolation, etc., I hope you'll take a look at these maps, and browse my Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site and share this with others who have the same concern, and who may already be doing great work to reduce these problems.

People in big cities need to be connecting, building relationships, sharing ideas, and innovating ways to draw resources to their work.

I'm on Twitter @tutormentorteam and Facebook, too. Also on G+ Let's Connect.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rural and Urban America Not As Different as One Might Think - Maybe

I encourage you to look at the map on this article, titled "Political rhetoric exaggerates economic divisions between rural and urban America".

The map, and the article, show that "Nearly 54 percent of people living in areas classified by the Census Bureau as rural also live in a county that is part of one of the nation’s 383 metropolitan areas."

Thus, it's the other 46% who are not closely connected to any city.

This is significant because the web library I've been building since 1993 focuses on urban issues and urban poverty and inequality.  In many articles I've suggested that the largest urban areas, where school age student population is greater than 100,000 students, have  unique problems caused by the number of students and the size of the bureaucracy that are different that rural areas, where lack of density and distance between students and potential support offer barrier to place based support services like non-school tutor/mentor programs.

Thus, I've encouraged others to duplicate the Tutor/Mentor Connection, using all the same ideas and practices, but with a library that identifies uniquely rural challenges, as well as organizations that are innovating solutions to those challenges.

If you're building such a library, let's connect.

UPDATE: 8/10/2016

Recently two resources that map poverty in the Appalachian region have  come to my attention. Here's the links:

1) Community Commons web site story, Mapping Poverty in the Appalachian Region

2) Appalachian region data overview from the 2010-14 American Community Survey Chartbook

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mapping Black Led Organizations - Funder Initiative

In today's scan of the Internet I found this article on the web site of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. It's titled, "Four Steps Foundations Should Take to Address Racial Equity".

In Step 1 they point to the map shown below, which you can find at this link.

In other articles about philanthropy on this blog, and in the Tutor/Mentor blog, I've focused on  the need to invest on-going funds in building strong organizations serving youth and families in high poverty, high minority, neighborhoods.  I've encouraged funders to create maps like this, showing organizations doing needed work, and showing who is being funded.  The map above is one of two on the site.

If you're a Black-led organization and not yet on the map, click here, to introduce yourself and be added to the map.

I've been building a map-based directory for over 20 years and understand how difficult it is to gather the information, and keep it updated from year to  year.  It takes the active involvement of organizations seeking funds, as well as those providing funds, and the intermediary who builds and manages the map.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It's Still Not Too Late

Below is a Letter to the Editor that I wrote to the Chronicle of Philanthropy in 1998. No foundation stepped forward to provide the support I was asking for, but the need still exists.

Browse past articles on this blog, and on the Tutor/Mentor blog to see how I've been using maps, which is how leaders from any city, and every sector could also be using maps.

Read this section of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Planning Wiki to see what my goal for using G IS maps has been since 1993. Read this section to see what the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator is intended to do, and to see challenges it's currently facing.

Then read this section to see a vision for using the Program Locator as a crowd-funding platform.

This can all be kept available in Chicago, or made available in any other city, if an investor/benefactor and/or partner will come forward to help.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Chicago's Public Housing Changes Not Good for All

Today I read this report on the Better Government Association web site, titled "CHA's Transformation Reshaped a City".  It shows while the displacement of public housing residents led to gentrification in some neighborhoods, which had a positive impact on CHA residents who were able to obtain vouchers and live in these areas, most of the benefit went to those moving in, and less went to the poor people who most often moved into other neighborhoods which already held concentrations of poverty.

In 2010 I included the map of Cabrini-Green (shown above) in this blog article, under the title, "Cabrini-Green gone. Are you sure?"

The BGA article includes a statement that 3200 families now live in Chicago's Near North area.  If families average 3 children per family, that would mean there are at least 9,000 low-income kids hidden in this area and I'm not aware of a lot of non-school tutor/mentor programs still there to help them.  Maybe they don't need as much help since affluent families tend to support schools with better trained teachers and more learning opportunities. That benefits poor kids, too.

In January I created a new map showing locations of the youth serving organizations in my database.  If you set my map next to the map in the BGA article, you can begin to determine what level of non-school, volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and learning programs are available in areas where former CHA residents have been moving.

This is an analysis that should include business, political, government, religious, university, CPS, media and residents, with neighborhood groups focusing attention on each of the high poverty community areas.  It's something that should be funded by the major foundations, or by the city, or the CHA.  

The result should be the growth of more and better services to youth and families in the high poverty areas where former CHA residents live, as well as the development of needed programs in the areas where poor people are living mixed in with people of more affluent backgrounds.