Mapping For Justice is making a stronger push in 2010 to tell a story that is often ignored by politicians and the media:
Poverty and high poverty neighborhoods affect you, your economy, and your pocketbook.
In fact, current “cost of poverty” reports estimate that “the costs to the U.S. associated with childhood poverty total about $500B per year, or the equivalent of nearly 4 percent of GDP.”
YOUR TAXES, YOUR ECONOMY, YOUR POVERTY
Those statistics consider lost earning/spending potential, crime and prison related costs, the cost of poor health on our health care system, and other social costs to you… burdens that policy makers continue to address with a money pit of policy that often ignores these poverty-related statistics.
The research on the cost of poverty, cited above, was conducted by Georgetown University, the Urban Institute, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the National Bureau of Economic Research. Their findings recommend long-term “social investments” to “generate returns to society over time in the form of higher real gross domestic product (GDP),” and they propose that "the investment of some significant resources in poverty reduction might be more socially cost-effective over time than we previously thought."
Significant investments over time... this might require a paradigm switch for a nation that tends to think in terms of immediate gratification, quick fixes, and short-term "return on investment." We are working to change the way Americans look at poverty and its costs to all American everywhere.
HOW WE ATTACK POVERTY AND SERVE YOU
* Since the 1990's, Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) has been stockpiling strategy documents, compiled from the shared knowledge of mentoring leadership across the nation. This ongoing effort works to ensure mentor-to-career programs fit as easily as possible into any comprehensive anti-poverty initiative.
* Two years ago, Mapping For Justice (MFJ) was created to build an infrastructure that provides community leaders and policy-makers with maps, to help visualize mentor program availability/need... and then target where investment in mentorship is needed to make a bigger long-term impact on the costs of poverty.
* The MFJ is finally attracting the attention of business, education, and political leadership in Chicago... leaders who recognize the importance of long-term social investment in our children over many years... and who recognize the long-term impact T/MC and MFJ can have in providing more student with the tools and guidance they need to side-step the lure of the streets en route to productive futures that won't continue to burden YOU.
COME BACK LATER THIS WEEK FOR...
* A detailed look at partnerships that are taking form between MFJ and Chicago community leaders in 2010...
* How you can get involved in the exciting map- and mentor-related events these partnerships are co-producing in 2010... events that will raise new awareness and draw new investment to poverty-fighting through Mentorship and Mapping For Justice.