If you’ve read any of the articles I’ve posted on this blog, or the Tutor/Mentor Blog, which I started writing in 2005, you’ll have seen some of the maps and visualizations in the graphic below.

I combined them into this single graphic for an article I posted on 12-22-16.  I hope you’ll take a look.


I’ve been using maps since 1994 to focus attention, volunteers and resources on all of the high poverty areas of Chicago where kids and families need extra help.  Without the map you could have a long list of programs, and still not be reaching most places where help is needed.

I’ve been using graphics like the “oil wells” and the “village chart” to illustrate the long-term work required to help a youth grow from birth to work, and the wide range of support needed to help that journey be successful.

I created this “race poverty” map below to illustrate that while rich and poor people face many of the same challenges, poor people have fewer resources to help them overcome those challenges. Poor neighborhoods also have some negative influences that rich neighborhoods don’t face.

race-povertymapMy articles focus on roles leaders from business, faith groups, philanthropy, schools and neighborhoods can take to help build and sustain long-term programs that help families have more of these supports as they raise their kids.


One way to dig into the ideas I share is to enlist students as your “research” team. Visit this page, and this page, and see how interns have been reading my articles and then creating blogs and visualizations to show their own  understanding.

Community leaders, a local business, or a school, could create an on-going program in which students look at the articles I write, and my graphics, then create their own interpretations, focusing on ways the ideas could be applied in their own community, and who needs to be involved. If this continues for multiple years the students learn more skills and strategies and more adults begin to take a role.

The “village” will grow.  The support system will grow.

As we head into 2017 make a commitment to read these articles, share them with your network, and to try to apply the ideas in your own community.

If you need my help, just reach out to me on social media or via my blogs.