Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Map-A-Thon Week 2 - A New Look At The Issues

I've been working with volunteer marketing people to determine why people have a hard time digesting our mapping project, and its importance TO YOU (not just the students).

When I talk face to face with people, and am given an opportunity to discuss case studies - students, programs, and volunteers whose lives have been changed through tutoring/mentoring, the audience is always enthused and impressed. Yet when I blog or network online, the message is seemingly lost.

So let me take another stab at it, using cleaner and doctored language, courtesy of an alliance between Mapping For Justice and a marketing volunteer (did I mention your individual talents can help students, as much as your time and money?).

Please read, and consider a donation to help us meet our goal of $5000 this quarter, to keep this community service operational:


Students raised in high-poverty, high-crime, and underprivileged neighborhoods typically lack access to non-school resources that aid their development and help put them on a path toward college and career.

Tutor/Mentors programs pair volunteer mentors from the professional ranks with capable students who aspire to reach their potential.

The problem is that potential volunteers, students, parents, and community leaders/donors who want to support this solution-based approach to poverty and violence likely don’t know where to look to find programs to help in their communities or beyond.


Mapping For Justice maps the locations and prevalence of tutor/mentor programs in relation to factors such as poverty level, “failing” schools, churches, hospitals, banks, drugstores – and other businesses and organizations.


  • Heighten community awareness and involvement, pointing citizens and community leadership to existing tutor/mentor programs.

  • Direct potential volunteers and donors to programs, to ensure program growth and longevity for students.

  • Draw attention to the need for new non-school tutor/mentor programs where none exist, but where poverty is high and students are struggling in poorly-performing schools.

  • Supplement crime news stories with maps to guide concerned citizens to programs who work to solve crime, not just expose it.

  • Help build alliances among businesses, politicians, faith groups, and other leaders who serve communities, by providing maps that help potential partners find each other.

  • Guide tutor/mentor advocates and supporting alliances, through associated blog stories, to strategy documents that provide templates for action.

  • Encourage accountability among community-minded organizations and individuals who seek to contribute to their communities in sustainable ways, by making their student advocacy efforts quicker and easier.


Mapping For Justice maintains its infrastructure – including data collection/maintenance, map production, an online presence (map gallery, this blog, and real-time Google-based interactive map), and a marketing effort – all on a $50,000 grant received more than a year ago -- all with a staff of one.


Additionally, If you know of any benefactors looking for a philanthropic tax write off, with an interest in the wars on poverty and crime please guide them our way. We ultimately need a sustainable long-term cash flow to work for more students in the future.


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