Friday, April 22, 2016

Using Maps To Support Community Collaborations

All of the articles on this and the Tutor/Mentor blog aim to support the growth of non-school programs that connect urban youth with workplace volunteers.

I encourage you to spend time browsing past articles. See how concept maps are used to show strategy, and emphasize the need for long-term, on-going, flexible funding of youth serving programs.  See how GIS maps focus attention and resources on all high poverty areas of the Chicago region, not just a few high profile places.

I've been building a database of Chicago non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs since 1993 and use maps to show where these programs are located.  Below is an example from a map platform, showing how you can zoom into the map and look at a specific part of the neighborhood.

While I've been hosting an interactive Chicago Program Locator that can be used to create map views, I've also been pointing to platforms hosted by others. Below I'll point to the Community Commons platform and compare it to the Program Locator.

Faith groups in entire Chicago region.  

These two map views show faith groups who could be leading strategies that engage the resources of a faith group in support of tutor/mentor and learning programs in different high poverty neighborhoods.  This PDF outlines a strategy I've been sharing with faith leaders since the late 1990s.

Faith groups on Chicago's West Side

This shows how you can zoom into maps on interactive platforms, to get a closer view.  The Program Locator includes features that show zip code, community area and legislative districts.  The Community Commons platform has a feature for adding legislative district boundaries.

Others who could be helping - Program Locator feature

These two map views show the West side of Chicago. One shows poverty overlays. Both include green stars indicating locations of tutor/mentor programs in my database. Put the mouse over an icon and get the name of the organization. Double click and go to their web site.

The map on the left also adds information showing businesses, colleges and hospitals in the area, who should be serving as anchor organizations and leaders in on-going efforts to help the neighborhoods have a full range of world-class quality tutor/mentor programs.

On both of these maps you can see additional information that has been added by pasting the map image into Power Point, then adding additional information, such as additional locations of tutor/mentor programs, or data showing the number of high poverty youth living in each community area.

Birth to Work Tutor/Mentor Programs needed in every poverty neighborhood

This concept map is part of a series that I've summarized on this article.  It shows that at each stage of life young people need a full range of supports in order to move more successfully, and safely, to the next stage, GIS maps should show if such supports are available....and in every high poverty zip code.

This concept map is a model. Each node should point to a directory of web sites, like this, showing organizations that provide that service in one, or many, neighborhoods.  If that information were plotted on poverty maps, leaders could begin to better understand what supports exist, and which are missing. Leaders could begin to lead year-round marketing campaigns intended to draw visibility, volunteers and dollars to programs in each map area.

With the help of researchers and information collectors, and funders, such information could be made available, and kept updated on an on-going basis.  In this article you can see how I've been reaching out to universities to encourage adoption of this strategy. 

Here's one PDF essay focusing on information collection. 

Getting the information, organizing it and making it available is just one part of a 4 part strategy that needs to be embraced by many leaders in every city.  The concept map below illustrates these four strategies.

See this concept map described in this PDF essay.  1) Better information, 2) seen by more people, 3) understood by more people, 4) leads to more consistent support of organizations serving youth and families in high poverty areas, so each can grow to be great at what they do to help people climb out of poverty and into the American Dream.

Accountability Maps needed

Just mapping indicators showing places of need, mapping places where service is available is not enough.  We also need to create maps showing who is coming together to find ways to solve these problems, and/or who is taking actions that make resources available in different neighborhoods. The map shown here shows participation in a past Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference. You can clearly see that business, media, government, and philanthropy are not represented.  Maybe they are meeting elsewhere. We won't know that unless organizers create participation maps like this.   Read this article about mapping events and this article about mapping philanthropy to learn more about this part of the strategy.

I don't find many other web sites where leaders are outlining their strategies, using maps and visualizations, the way I have been doing for nearly 20 years.  If you know of such places, please share the link and make an introduction.  If you see the value of the ideas I'm sharing then adopt them, and lead them, or offer your time, talent and dollars to help me keep this available to Chicago and other cities.

Today Congresswoman Robin Kelly hosted a press conference, announcing an #Urban Progress initiative.  Here's one of many tweets from that event, which includes photos of the high profile people who spoke.
I hope some of those leaders will view this and other articles I've written and duplicate what I've been doing for the past 20 years, to achieve a problem that still persist because too few have a deep commitment and a day-to-day map-based strategy, to draw people from the entire village together, and to mobilize needed resources for each high poverty neighborhood of Chicago and other big cities throughout the country.

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