Sunday, January 14, 2018

Police Shootings in Cook County, IL - Interactive Map web site
The Better Government Association and WBEZ have been following police shootings in Cook County suburbs and reporting this in a TakingCover series of articles. Their focus is on "How Cops Escape Discipline For Shootings in Suburban Illinois."

One data resource is an interactive map that shows locations of shootings and provides details. The screen shot at the left was created by zooming into one part of the map then clicking on one of the yellow dots. In this case, I'm looking at the South Suburban area around Harvey, IL.

While I'm interested in this topic, I'm more interested in helping people in communities with high poverty, poorly performing schools, too few jobs, and too much violence and police shootings, have a system of youth and family support services that help shrink the negatives by creating more paths to high school graduation, jobs and careers.

More specifically, I've been trying to help well organized, mentor-rich, non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs grow in high poverty areas. Site based programs could be operating in faith based buildings, colleges, business sites and/or free standing locations. They could be hosted at public or private schools. I led one of these from 1975 to 2011, serving youth in the Cabrini-Green area of Chicago.

For this to happen, someone needs to take the lead, then begin mobilizing others, who will help start and sustain needed programs.  Using maps in stories that are presented via social media, YouTube, face-to-face presentations, etc. is one strategy to help do this. I've been piloting this for 24 years and keep trying to motivate others to adopt the same tactics.

I created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 to help non-school, tutor, mentor and learning programs grow in the Chicago region and started a survey in 1994 to locate existing non-school tutor/mentor programs in the Chicago region. I've been plotting this information on maps and sharing it via an Interactive Program Locator, a web list, and the map shown at this link

Since 1994 I've been using the database and maps to tell stories and generate public interest and involvement aimed at drawing needed resources to existing programs, or helping new programs form where more are needed.

At the left is a map view created by zooming into my map platform, to show the same area as the map.  In this case, I don't find any organized volunteer-based tutor or mentor programs in the area.  That means people in this area are going to need to step forward and create programs,  hopefully borrowing from the ideas on my web sites. Here's a section focused on "how to start a program".

Lack of programs in the South Suburbs is not new information to me. In 2007 I hosted a Tutor/Mentor Conference in this area and this article show our goal of mobilizing people to help programs grow.

At the right is a map-story created in the 1990s before I had access to the Internet for sharing these stories.  Click on the image to enlarge. Then  you can see a Chicago SunTimes story of a shooting in Chicago and a map that shows where the shooting took place. You can also see a table showing existing tutor/mentor programs in the area, with additional tables showing some businesses in the same area. Finally there's a narrative that ends up calling on assets, political leaders, media and others to help support existing programs in the map area, or help new programs form.

I've been repeating this type of map-story for many years, but my voice is too small, and I'm an outsider in these neighborhoods. If youth, volunteers, parents and community leaders learn to create these stories, and share them weekly, they can begin to draw together a coalition of people who will take the lead on building and sustaining needed programs.

view presentation

In 2008 the T/MC began building an interactive Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, with layers of information that could be used to create a story showing why help was needed, what tutor/mentor programs were in the area, if any, and what banks, hospitals, colleges, faith groups, etc were also in the area and should be taking a role to help build and sustain great programs.

This link points to a presentation showing "how to  use" the program locator to create map stories. 

Since mid 2011 the T/MC has been operated by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and I've not had the resources to continue updating the Program Locator platform. Thus, it's out of date.  However, it's a model for what could be created in Chicago or other cities, and how it could be used to create map stories that draw attention and resources to neighborhoods where bad things happen too often.

Furthermore, I've demonstrated on this blog, and many others on this site, that you can use data platforms created by others, such as the BGA and WBEZ to create map views which you then edit using Power Point or other tools to add additional information that shows why people should be helping tutor/mentor programs grow in this map-area.

While there are many examples of map-stories on this blog, here's a Nov. 2017 article that shows how one person is creating map stories and sharing them regularly on Twitter. 

Others can, and should, do the same. If I begin to see more map-stories in Tweets and Facebook posts that focus on helping build needed youth and family support programs in different parts of Chicago, the US or the world, I'll know that some people have read this story, or forwarded it to others.

Thank you to Joel Inwood of the ChiHackNight group for bringing the map to my attention.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Be a story-map-maker. Draw needed resources to neighborhoods.

This map shows the Austin neighborhood on the West side of Chicago. It also shows the Eisenhower Expressway that draws commuters through the West side as they travel to and through work.

I've used this and similar maps in several stories on this blog in past years. Please look at them and use them as examples for ways you and others can use maps in stories that draw attention, volunteers, dollars, ideas and other needed resources to youth serving organizations in every poverty neighborhood in the Chicago area,  the USA, and the world.

Here's another article, showing ways to make your own maps to influence public policy and willpower.

This blog was started in 2008. There are nearly 10 years of articles showing ways to use maps and visualizations in stories, which also point you to many other resources that help you understand poverty, inequality and racism in America.

The purpose of my map stories is to help well-organized, volunteer-based, tutor, mentor and learning programs grow in all high poverty neighborhoods of the Chicago region. Ideally, such programs connect with youth in elementary and middle school, then stay connected as they help youth move through high school and into adult lives.

With social media, such programs can be a hub connecting youth, volunteers, ideas and opportunities for a lifetime.

I know of very few programs who actually do this. One reason is that the system that funds non profit  youth serving organizations is inconsistent and short-term in who it funds, and how long it funds, as well as what it funds.  Another might be that there is no university or apprentice program training leaders to come into this field, drawing upon the multi-year experience of current and past program leaders, such as myself. 

While I provide these map stories, I host a library of articles and web sites that you can use to expand your understanding of problems and solutions. For instance:

List of Chicago youth programs - visit this link and see the way I share links to Chicago youth programs. You can use this list to find programs. You can also use it to learn ideas from well organized programs that you can apply to help other programs.  Or you can use this to frame a vision for new programs that need to be created in areas where no programs now exist.

Learn  more about challenges of funding these programs - click this link and read articles I've been collecting for the past 20 years.  Unless we find better ways to fund programs, making talent, technology and operating resources consistently available to EVERY program, little will change in the availability of programs or the number of kids being helped through school and into adult lives.

Browse sections of Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site and use it as an on-going resource to support your own efforts. 
* Use this "getting started" page to help you navigate the site. 
* Visit this page to view the library of "strategy presentations" that I've created since the mid 1990s.

If you value this information and these resources, click here and use the PayPal button to provide financial support to help me keep it available to you and others.

Monday, December 18, 2017

School Segregation in the US. Long history. Intentional.

In several articles on this blog I include maps that show segregation in the US school system.  In the video below, Soledad O’Brien discusses with Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative reporter for New York Times Magazine, and a MacArthur Genius Award Winner, why she says the segregation in American schools is intentional and why it’s hurting the country’s future.

 Read articles on Tutor/Mentor blog and this blog that focus on ways to get more people involved in learning about issues like this, and in using their time, talent, dollars, influence and votes to create needed systems of support for kids living in high poverty and segregated America.

Friday, December 15, 2017

MapCorps - engages youth in data collection

This is a map on the MapCorps web site t hat shows neighborhoods of Chicago where they are collecting data. Browse the site to see other maps and learn how they are engaging and employing students in this process.

Visit this YouthCounts site to see how MapCorps partners to help collect data about homeless youth in Chicago.

Arts Vibrancy in US Counties

Arts Vibrancy map
Here's another example of how maps can be used. This link points to an interactive map that shows how strong an arts community is in different counties throughout the USA.

Visit the site to learn more about the map and the data/research behind it. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Racial Segregation in Metro Areas - Brookings report

Map from report
This is one of four sets of maps included in this article describing continuing racial segregation in 24 large metro areas of the United States.  Take a look.

Read other articles that focus on race and segregation that I've posted on this blog.