Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving... Many To Thank This Year

So many things to be thankful for...

First, thanks again to everyone who has donated money to our fundraiser to keep this map project going. We still haven't reached our goal... (hint hint... donate here) but those of you who have stepped up have allowed us to do some great things, instead of closing our doors this past fall when things got pretty desperate.

Thanks also to everyone who has donated their time or talents to this mapping project - interns and volunteers and advisers... each providing data, map knowledge, marketing/design help, advice/encouragement/criticism/discussion, or other resources... we are always looking for people who want to contribute to our mission.

Thanks to the staff and leadership at Cabrini Connections and Tutor/Mentor Connection, and to all the volunteers who work with the kids each week. Clearly, your vision and hands-on perseverance provides leadership-by-example for the kids and for myself.

Thanks to my students who meet each week with me at Cabrini Connections Tech Club where I volunteer my time once a week...

(I walk the walk too you know!)

These 7th-9th graders from Cabrini Green and elsewhere in the city have been working this fall to learn marketable tech skills such as graphic design and animation... they will soon be learning to advocate for themselves through maps... we are currently looking for now volunteers to bring their tech expertise to the club once or twice a month on Tuesday nights. Join us!

Thanks to everyone who has used my maps! It's a thrill to see them hanging in community centers where they might just focus tavern or barbershop discussion toward topics of community advocacy... and it's so exciting to be occasionally approached by community leaders, at conferences for instance, who tell me about how the maps have helped them meet their goals. (It gets lonely here in a cubicle and I don't have enough opportunities to talk to everyone face to face. Drop me a line with your stories.)

And really, Thanks to everyone who has raised visibility for this project... maybe you've told others about the maps/strategies through your social networks... or maybe you've engaged me or others with your thoughts and concerns about how maps like mine can be used to better and more efficiently campaign for workforce and community development. (If not, you should! Check out the maps/blogs here for ideas - browse by category, using the links to the right!)

And last but certainly not least, thanks to YOU for coming here and reading each week. I have a few new maps up my sleeve, ready to show off... and some new experiences/surprises to share... see you after Turkey Day!

If the Turkey doesn't get you first!

(Thanks to 9th grader Israel from tech club for designing the "Defensive Turkey" graphic above, and to 7th grader Kierre for the "Cabrini Thanksgiving Turkey-Head" logo at the top of this story!)

Please have a safe Thanksgiving!

And as always, please contact me with thoughts, comments, concerns, critique, needs... we need more discussion!

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