Monday, July 27, 2009

Support from Obama's Barber, a Chicago Bear, and WLUW... Join Our Team!

Wow what a month. Seems everyone is rallying for Tutoring/Mentoring.

We still need YOUR support though... Please review what we have going on below and consider either a small contribution yourself... or pass the word to somebody who has the means to keep us mapping for justice into 2010 and beyond. Our goal is $50,000. Every bit helps.

So, what has happened this month?

Well, last week, Dan and I visited Hyde Park Hair Salon where President Obama goes to get his hair cut! We hung the following map on the wall, which the barber will use when talking with his customers:

If you click on the map, it will expand to show the location of the barbershop, in relation to all known tutor/mentor programs, high-poverty neighborhoods (with struggling schools), and many of the area's businesses and community resources. The barber will use this to drum up conversation, and ultimately tutor/mentor support for local students.

This is the sort of partnership we are looking for. We don't live in Hyde Park. We need local business leaders like the barbershop to communicate the advantages of tutoring/mentoring to parents, potential volunteers, and businesses in EVERY neighborhood.

My maps help facilitate this process. We need your help to continue building these partnerships. Contact me to learn more.

We also hosted a successful Golf Benefit, which was attended by several community leaders, and some NFL Players, including Bears linebacker Nick Roach, shown in this photo with Cabrini Connections eighth grader, Savon.

Savon is an amazingly talented Cabrini Connections eighth grader who attends Tuesday night Tech Club (where I log my volunteer hour each week). At Tech Club, Savon works with me and professional graphic designer (And volunteer) Christine Kochevar. He is currently learning marketable Photoshop skills and will soon be making maps himself.

Cabrini Connections Administrative Coordinator, EL Da' Sheon Nix (former Northwestern wide receiver himself) wrote a blog this week that features Savon's reflection on the event and what Cabrini Connection and Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) means to Savon.

(Interestingly, Nick Roach and President Obama are connected indirectly to T/MC outside of the hair salon and the golf benefit. Check out Dan's blog this week: "NFL Players Association Joins President Obama in Call To Service." Therein, he references Roach, Bears lineman Orlando Pace, and other athletes... and explores how they and YOU can help "put a tutor/mentor team on the field." )

One final exciting thing to report at the end of the month. The media finally took an interest in my story! Hopefully this is just the beginning! Mike Stephen at Outside the Loop RADIO on WLUW 88.7fm, podcast an interview that told my story as mapmaker, volunteer, and indie rock musician.

Again, it's podcast, so please download it and listen to it if you haven't.

In the interview, I make a call to action to all artists and musicians who have a dream to help your community, but are too afraid to make the commitment... or not sure how. I hope it inspires you to take action.

Contact me to learn how to get involved, to learn more about my maps or music (and how your skills and talents can combine to help kids through tutoring/mentoring.)

And please forward this update to anyone with an interest in education, workforce development, the wars on crime/poverty... anyone can help us meet our goal of $50,000, one small donation at a time.

1 comment:

Katy Rossing said...

Hi Mike,

Your posts on the connection between mapping and social justice are very thoughtful. The organization I work for, the Reinvestment Fund, provides a mapping service, PolicyMap, that I think you might find interesting. We're trying to make Pmap a useful resource for everyone interested in nonprofit resource allocation, policy, and planning. The link is