Friday, January 14, 2022

Using maps to drive resources to high poverty areas

 I started the Tutor/Mentor blog in 2005 and have posted 255 articles showing uses of maps. If you look at some of these printed newsletters you'll see that I was putting maps in stories back in the 1990s.

This MappingforJustice blog was started in 2008 and until mid 2011 shared maps created by the Tutor/Mentor Connection to draw attention and resources to volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring programs in high poverty areas of Chicago.  I took over the blog in mid 2011 when I launched the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and have continued to share maps made using the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator (now an archive) and maps made using platforms hosted by others.

There are so many stories on these blogs that it's difficult for people to find an overview that they can understand.  Thus, I recently began aggregating a few articles around different topics on my Wakelet account.  Here's one focused on using maps:

While most of my maps created up till 2011 focus on Chicago I point to platforms that can be used to create map-stories focused on any part of the United States.  

With this in mind, use my articles as templates for creating your own stories and try to mobilize public awareness and a flow of resources into all high poverty areas of your own community.  More stories written by more people, built greater public awareness, understanding and motivation.

Share your articles on Twitter and tag me at @tutormentorteam so I can reTweet them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Use maps to guide giving


Since 2008 stories on this blog have shown ways to use maps to understand where poverty is concentrated in Chicago and other cities and to draw needed operating dollars, technology, volunteers and ideas to youth serving programs in every high poverty area of Chicago.

As you celebrate the holidays view my lists of youth serving organizations. Visit websites to see what they do. Pick one, or two in different parts of the city to support. 

I depend on contributions to Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (not a 501-3-c) to help keep my lists of programs on-line and available to anyone. Visit this page if you'd like to help. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Africa will have most of worlds largest cities by 2100

 The map below if from a Washington Post article showing how Africa will have most of the World's largest cities by 2100.

Read the article at this link. 

Perhaps universities in Africa will adopt the map-based strategies I've been sharing with Chicago and other US cities since 1994.  

Thursday, November 18, 2021

MapsCorps - another data source

I've used this blog for more than 12 years to show uses of maps in stories that attract attention to important issues and to places where people need extra help from volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs and much more.

Here's a resource to add to your collection.  I've known about MapsCorps for a couple of years but had not seen their community mapping pages.  

If you go to and scroll down on the home page you'll see this map of Chicago.

Next click on any of the Chicago community areas shown in red to open a map focused specifically on that area. I clicked on Washington Park, which is just West of Hyde Park on Chicago's South side.

The community area is shown and you can zoom in and out to get a closer look.  On the left side bar are categories of information shown on the map.  I opened the "childcare and schools" category, then clicked on each category to see what would show on the map. When I clicked "other" the Chicago Youth Programs site was shown.  The pop-up provides an address and phone number but not a link to the website.  

Open each of the community areas and you'll find a similar map, but different information will be shown. It's a great resource. I just wish they had a category for "tutor/mentor" program, and that more of the programs operating in the city were showing up on the maps. 

If you use this resource, along with data from other platforms (see this article, and others like it on this blog) you can build an understanding of community needs, available  youth serving organizations, and assets in the area who might provide volunteers, technology, ideas and dollars.

All of this can be included in blog articles, videos, PDF presentations and more, with a goal of supporting existing programs and helping new ones grow where needed.

I learned about this resource in a webinar hosted the the To&Through Project. In the Tweet below you can find a link to the video and learn about this, and the map resources provided by LISC Chicago.
Universities and high schools should be teaching young people to create such map stories and show how they need to be repeated over-and-over for many years in order to build attention and convince leaders to provide the needed resources to the neighborhood. 

A blog like this one, and the Tutor/Mentor blog, which I started in 2005, should be found on various websites in every community area of Chicago, its suburbs, and in other cities. Note that I've written these for more than 12 years and have led the Tutor/Mentor Connection since 1993. Until others build and sustain such a long-term commitment and consistent flow of stories too few will respond to the needs of kids and families in each area where map indicators show there is a need.

It's the only way we will ever cut through all of the noise and attract needed attention and resources to high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities.

I'm on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.  Find links here.  Let's connect.

I'll be 75 this December.  You can support my work by making a small contribution. Visit this page

However, what's more important, is that someone from one of Chicago's universities steps forward to take ownership of my archive so it remains available as a teaching tool and inspiration beyond my own lifetime. A wealthy donor could make that happen.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Using data from multiple platforms

 Below I'm showing some data platforms that I've seen recently which show indicators of need for extra support of youth living in high poverty areas.

University of Chicago To&Through Project released a new report showing CPS students' enrollment patterns and high school/college outcomes by the community area in which they live. Click here to view the report.   At the same time a data platform was created to help people use the data.  Below is an image showing one page on this platform.

Follow @UChiToThrough on Twitter and see how they are helping people understand what's available and how to use this tool.

Next, view this report showing schools that include Computer Science Education. Below is a screenshot from a section of the data tool showing the Illinois 7th Congressional District.   

Next, look at the Chicago Public Schools locator platform. Below is a screenshot from that platform that I used in this blog article, to show assets in the neighborhood around different schools who could be helping school and non-school programs help kids. 

After posting this article I attended a ZOOM meeting where the Chicago Community Data Portal was introduced. Below is a screenshot from that.

These are just four data platforms that are available to advocates and planners who want to focus on specific areas within large cities like Chicago. There's a load of data in these portals. Take the time to learn what's available and ways to use it.   

Open this concept map and view other platforms that can be used. 

This data can help people understand where kids and families need extra help but will be of little value if more people don't use the data tools to create stories that attract the attention of policy makers, donors, volunteers, business leaders and others who need to be involved helping programs grow and schools improve.  Those stories need to be launched over and over in order to attract attention and motivate changes in habits.

What this requires are efforts that "influence" what others do.  The graphic at the left is used in several articles on the Tutor/Mentor blog to show that we need to influence resource providers, not just program leaders, youth and parents.  Here's one example.

Get involved!

This blog was started in 2008.  The Tutor/Mentor Blog was started in 2005. The Tutor/Mentor Intern blog was started in 2006.

Review the stories posted over the past 13 to 16 years. They are examples of the type of stories others need to be posting regularly, and for as long, in order to capture attention, mobilize resources and do the work needed to help kids move from poverty to jobs and careers.

If you appreciate these articles, consider a holiday contribution to help me fund this work. Click here. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Population growth in US cities

 Below is a screen shot that I created from an article in the Washington  Post, titled "Where America's developed areas are growing".

I'm showing the Sycamore-DeKalb, Illinois cities.  I spent 5th grade through high school in Sycamore, graduating from HS in 1964. I left for college in the fall of 1964 and while my family lived there until 1992, I later made my home in the Chicago region.  Thus, I've watched this population growth with interest over the past 30 years.

I used this example to demonstrate the interactive feature of the Washington Post article. Type in any zip code in the bar at the top of the map and you'll get a map showing that location, with the purple shading showing population growth in that area between 2001 and 2019.

This is just one platform that I point to in this blog, demonstrating ways to visualize data and share it via newspaper and Internet articles.

I've used this blog since 2008 and the Tutor/Mentor blog, since 2006, to share map-stories with the goal of drawing attention to the information, then using the information to develop strategies that draw resources into the areas where the maps show help is needed. 

I've been collecting links to data platforms for many years and while I point to some from articles on this blog, I created this concept map, to point to many more. And while many major media are creating some fantastic map stories, I don't find many bloggers talking about using their data maps for specific purposes, the way I've been doing.

Thus, I'm pleased to point to a new site being  hosted by Adam Hecktman, who has been part of the ChiHackNight group for many years, in his role with Microsoft.  Look at the Tweet below and visit Adam's new site. I'm please that this MappingforJustice blog is the first on the site. I hope there will be many more in the coming months.

The Washington Post article enables you to look at population growth in every part of the country.  People in every city need to be looking at the maps and asking "what does this mean for us?" and "What can we do to fix any problems this shows?" and finally, "Who wants to help?"

Since most of us don't have dedicated advertising budgets to reach out and gather people to work together to solve specific problems, using our blogs and social media to share our ideas is one of the few resources we can use.

 Creating libraries, or hubs, is one way to shine the light on the work many are doing. 

8-20-2021 update - Here's 8-20-2021 WBEZ story titled,  "Takeaways From 2020 Census Data For Chicago And Illinois In 6 Graphics".  White population in Illinois declined while POC grew.