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 Brookings.edu 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.


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