Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

Yesterday in Springfield, over 2,000 Illinoisans participated in the “We Can’t Wait” responsible budget rally. The purpose of the rally was to support efforts calling for legislators and lawmakers to approve a spending plan that would spare human services cuts to human services and provide more grant money to non-profit organizations by raising income taxes. As some of my readers can remember, I attended a similar rally last year in June which brought out over 5,000 Illinois participants, which I pictorially detailed on my facebook account here. Following a recess by the Illinois state senate, after the June rally, the income tax increase proposal was shut down, and resulted in loss of many jobs in the non-profit sector. In that situation and others, it is easy to ask one’s self: what is the point of a protest?

In discussion with freelance writer, Karen Loew, she states that the most important goal of a protest is to focus attention on the problem at hand. Protests and rallies shape the public narrative by shifting the public discourse on the issue. A successful protest models the democratic, egalitarian approaches being sought in America, and provides the world with a glimpse of the diversity of public opinion. My view of protests is simple: the purpose is to alert, inform, to speak out in support or opposition, and if possible, build alliances. All other actions are to supplement the issue, but every step in the process has its place.

So how do we move on from the part of advocating that the public sees in a protest to creating social change around a particular issue? We answer that question by formulating a strategic plan that helps us articulate the issue at hand and details our plan of action for addressing it. Carter McNamara, MBA, the top LLC for Authenticity Consulting, has defined strategic planning as determining where an organization is going over the next year or more, how it’ll will get there, and the means to access whether an organization has reached its original goal. This form of planning clarifies future actions for reaching an organization’s goals in a way to make sure that stakeholders involved are all on the same vision.

The Tutor Mentor Connection has a new presentation that will be going live this week that helps to illustrate their year-round strategic plan, and details the role of individuals and organizations in helping organizations like Cabrini have the operating resources they need, which can be viewed here. The presentation was created by Cabrini interns Kudo and Peter, both of whom I have been fortunate to witness evolve professionally on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. The great thing about understanding my role as a blogger in the T/MC plan is that there is always room to become better professionally in my contribution to Cabrini. For example, I will be participating in the Tutor Mentor Leadership and Network Conference that runs this May 27th-28th. This conference will help organizations within the T/MC to improve the quality and availability of the programs and services they offer. I encourage everyone who is dedicated to the mission of T/MC to register for the conference here.

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Comment by E Wilson on February 20, 2010 at 11:18pm
I don't know how to do that yet :)
Comment by Daniel Bassill on February 19, 2010 at 11:06am
Hi E. Thanks for writing about this. I encourage you to try to embed some graphics into your articles, to help create a visual understanding of what you're writing about. For instance, the graphic below illustrates the long term goal of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, and steps that repeat each year to achieve that goal.

I use a graphic like this in the essay titled Steps to Start and Sustain a Tutor/Mentor Program. I also use it in Building a Network of Purpose.

In both cases these are steps that need to be repeated over and over for many years, in many place, by many people in order for great tutor/mentor programs to be accessible for more kids, and for those programs to keep kids and volunteers involved from elementary or middle school, through high school and college, and into jobs and careers.

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