Today I attended the UIC Urban Forum: Jobs and the Labor Force of Tomorrow and was actively Tweeting quotes until my phone battery went low. I took about 5 pages of notes, which I’ll draw from in future articles.
During the last of three panel discussions I created the sketch below.
I’ll put this on Power Point and add some color, but the box at the left represents the vast wealth that has been created over the past few decades and is in the hands of less than 1% of people in the world. The panel discussions from today, and much of what I write about on this blog and the MappingforJustice blog, focuses on the negative results of this “wealth-creation” and calls on people with this wealth to be much more proactive in what they do to reduce the negatives they have inflicted upon the world, while creating greater hope, opportunity and well-being for people in the US and other countries.
Unfortunately, as my sketch shows, this is not happening on a voluntary basis, or at great scale, which is why many people call on government to take a role. Except, our political leaders are failing us.
Thus, in 2016 we have Donald Trump…and Bernie Sanders.
As with other events I attend, many of the panel members and attendees are people I’ve met over the past twenty years, but who for what-ever reason, don’t make much of an effort to draw me into their conversations or use the ideas I share in their work (that I know of). I think Terry Mazany of the Chicago Community Trust rolls his eyes every time he sees me.
For instance, the moderator of the first panel this morning was John McCarron, who wrote the story above in 1995, describing the work of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, which I launched in 1993, and which I now continue to lead via the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. John also included me in this 1996 article.
Today’s first two panel discussions created a sort of momentum, or volcano of interest, which was topped off by Clarence Page, and his concluding quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” speech, which I found on this web site
“Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the fires of justice. Let us be dissatisfied until they who live on the outskirts of Hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heap of history and every family will live in a decent, sanitary home. Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into the bright tomorrows of quality integrated education.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.,
That was 50 years ago! While much has changed, there is still too much to be dissatisfied about.
I created this graphic in the 1990s and have used it often. It illustrates how each one of us needs to be “dissatisfied” with the wrongs in the world, and how we need to be reaching out to try to engage other people in efforts to overcome those wrongs.
In this graphic the circle represents the information available on the Internet, and in many libraries, that groups of people can read, discuss, debate and use to innovate ways they can use their time, talent and dollars, to help kids move through school and into jobs, in one of the high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago, which show on the map at the right side of this graphic.
I spent 17 years creating retail advertising for the Montgomery Ward Corporate Headquarters in Chicago. We spent over $250 million dollars a year (in the 1980s) using weekly adversiting to tell 20 million people, in 40 states, that we had stores near them, with merchandise they were looking for….AND…..this week it’s on SALE!
What will it take to motivate leaders to create on-going advertising type campaigns that draw more and more people to information they can use to become solutions to the problems we face?
As one person responded to me, “Where’s the profit?”
I created concept maps like this to try to show the “profit” gained by strategic investment by business in youth tutor/mentor programs.
I’ve attended forums like today’s for over 20 years. I’ve been on the Internet since 1996 and in one section of my library I share links to web sites talking about innovation, creativity, collaboration, network building, mapping, etc.
Articles that I point to show ways people who attend events like today’s can be connecting with each other after the event and digging deeper into the ideas shared, while learning and innovating ways to build the “public will” needed to create the world we want and should have, rather than the one the super rich are forcing us to live in.