Thanks to a friend like you, I met dozens of people at the CityCamp conference at University of Illinois-Chicago this weekend... an informal but extremely informative gathering of people from across the area (and the country), who gathered all weekend to network and exchange ideas...
People who are using their tech, media, and political skills/backgrounds every day, on behalf of adapting government and representation to the challenges of the new decade. (For more on the concept of Gov 2.0, see this article. )
I was invited to give a workshop and lead a discussion about Mapping For Justice, and our use of GIS (mapping)... I introduced our map technologies and how they can be used to address the costs of poverty that affect us all. We then discussed new ways to help students advocate for themselves through maps, as well as new ways to generate awareness for the tools we have.
Here's the thing though! I would have never learned of this opportunity, had it not been for someone in my network who took the 5 minutes to ask me, "Hey do you know about this event? Do you know these people? You should! They can help you!"
So here is an example of how YOU can help us fight poverty today - FREE... at a very small sacrifice of your precious time!
All you need to do is think about who you know who can collaborate with us in our mission!
Do you know of conferences and organizations with a community-minded agenda, where we can meet others working in similar capacities? (Poverty, Education, Economic/Workforce Development, Crime, Tech Innovations, GIS/Mapping, Volunteerism/Service, Non-Profits.)
We are looking for tech and/or GIS volunteers to help improve the interactive Google map interface we rolled out last year.
Honestly, anyone can probably help, even they don't have tech skills.
We also need:
* Benefactors , foundations, or businesses who can help us take our map tools to the next level of impact, through tech/data improvements, and advertising that will build further media/business/political/general awareness of Tutor/Mentor Connection's mission, tools, and data. Of course, with more awareness, we can develop new interest in mentoring, leading to an increase in volunteers and students served... and new innovations, perhaps including development of training programs, and better tracking systems to show short and long-term impact. Ultimately, investment in our tools will lead to an increased capacity to help the next generation of kids contribute more productively in our economy and society. We are looking for this investment.
* Political leadership can use their leverage to stir up awareness and build alliances that lead to action in the fight against poverty in their districts. Any political leaders you know can find tutor/mentor-building strategies here.
* Faith leaders can preach action for mentor programs through their congregations and communities. There are examples and maps elsewhere on this blog (see "faith group" tags to the right). And here is an important strategy document called "How Faith Communities Can Lead Volunteer Mobilization For Tutor/Mentor Programs."
* University leaders can ally on behalf of the safety and education of neighborhood kids. This is discussed here.
* Hospital leaders can also ally on behalf of tutoring/mentoring, for the well-being of the community. Look here for reasons why. Look at this strategy document, called "Tutor/Mentor Hospital Connection" for details on how to get started.
Thanks to everyone I met at CityCamp this past weekend. And thanks to everyone who reads this, for your continued support. Let's build this network and really make a push for mentoring.
Please send all ideas my way.
Tutor/Mentor Connection is at the forefront of knowledge/data collection, strategy building, and tool provision for anyone who wants to get involved in the fight against poverty through volunteering, donating, or building alliances in support of non-school tutor/mentor programs.
Mapping For Justice is a department of Tutor/Mentor Connection, and offers state of the art map tools for leaders to use in developing plans of action, to mobilize available resources and find new resources that will provide mentor-to-career assistance for students in every neighborhood.